Delaware adds debit card option, eliminates checks for unemployment
The more than 30,000 Delawareans receiving unemployment benefits will soon have a new way to get their money.
The state plans to eliminate paper checks as a form of unemployment insurance payments, leaving the jobless with two options: direct deposit or the new method, debit card.
"This new option of delivering unemployment insurance benefits through debit cards is part of an ongoing effort to streamline the department's service delivery system in an efficient and cost effective manner," said Delaware Secretary of Labor John McMahon.
The debit cards are being rolled out following a pilot program to see how they would work. Those who are currently receiving their weekly unemployment insurance payments by paper check will be contacted by the Delaware Unemployment Insurance Division to choose either direct deposit or debit card.
More than 32,000 Delawareans receive unemployment insurance benefits as of August, which is the latest number available from the state labor department. The state's unemployment rate has stayed relatively steady for the past few months, and was at 7.3 percent in August.
Conversely, the national unemployment rate has been slowly, but steadily declining. The U.S. unemployment rate was also 7.3 percent in August, down from 7.9 percent in January.