State treasury officials say a new debit card system for workers compensation and unemployment compensation payments took effect Friday. Recipients can begin using the new gold card on Monday.
There was a time when workers and unemployment compensation payments were delivered to recipients by paper check. No more, now funds are either deposited directly into a bank account or placed onto a refillable debit card.
The debit card in the possession of claimants has been blue and administered by Xerox. Those that have money left in that account are encouraged to spend it, as it will not be re-filled. The new card is gold.
"The key is people have to activate the new gold card when they receive it. Treasury began sending out payments today to the new gold cards and these payments will be active as of Monday," explained State Treasury Department Gary Tuma.
Money remaining on the closed blue debit card is available for withdrawal until at least September 14.
Unemployment and workers compensation recipients with concerns can call JP Morgan Chase at 866-586-1706 or the State Treasury at 877-869-1956. Problems with the Xerox blue card can be addressed at 877-406-8257.
Treasury negotiated a new contract and awarded it to Chase.
One reason was the large number of in-network ATM machines. They offer cash withdrawal and other services at no charge. Recipients are expected to realize more than $5 million dollars in savings.
State Treasurer Rob McCord today reminded those receiving unemployment compensation or workers’ compensation payments through a debit card to activate their new gold-colored card as soon as they receive it.
The new gold cards, from JP Morgan Chase, were placed in the mail between February 28 and March 11 to those who are currently receiving payments. They replace the blue debit cards from Xerox that had been in use. Recipients must activate their new gold cards to access future payments made to their account. Cards can be activated by calling Chase at 866-586-1706 or visiting www.ucard.chase.com
Thursday, March 14 was the last day that Treasury transmitted payments to the blue Xerox cards. Those payments should appear on blue Xerox cards on Friday, March 15. Treasury will transmit payments for deposit to the new Chase gold cards beginning on Friday, March 15. Those payments should appear on Chase cards on the following business day, Monday, March 18.
“Unemployment and workers’ compensation claimants who have funds remaining on a blue card can continue to use that card and should spend down the balance as soon as convenient,” said McCord, whose Treasury Department administers the debit card program.
“Do not throw away your blue debit card – it will continue to be good until at least September 14, 2013. But no new payments will go to that card, so please activate the gold card as soon as you receive it so you have access to the funds that you will receive from now on,” McCord reminded claimants.
Anyone who has lost the blue debit card should call Xerox at 877-406-8257. Claimants who have not gotten their new gold-colored Chase card should call Chase at 866-586-1706 or Treasury at 877-869-1956.
McCord announced in January that the state had switched to a new debit card program that provides significant improvements, producing an estimated savings of $5.2 million a year in fees for Pennsylvania unemployment compensation and workers compensation recipients who use the cards. The new program increases by 25 percent the number of in-network ATM machines where cardholders can make unlimited cash withdrawals and balance inquiries for free. It also eliminates fees for many other common services.
For more information, visit www.debitcard.patreasury.gov