An unemployed worker can use an unemployment debit card to make their life a little easier during the time they're unemployed. This can help them to keep track of their expenses and to have a means to receive money from friends or family if they are unable to receive unemployment benefits. If you are an unemployed American and are facing a time crunch between when you'll receive unemployment benefits and when you actually get it, consider using this type of credit to help tide you over until you can find a job. Here's how to get one of these cards and how to use it to its full advantage.
Most unemployment debit cards work like a regular credit card. You are charged a certain amount each month. Payments are usually made on a bi-weekly or monthly basis depending on your position. To see how to apply for (or switch) to (or create) your unemployment disability card, simply contact your state unemployment department. Most states have a toll-free number to call to inquire about pay bills.
Another benefit to having an unemployment debit card is that you can transfer funds from it to a state approved bank account when you're receiving unemployment benefits. As long as you can show that you've had a job for at least seven months, you will qualify for the benefit. Be aware, though, that banks won't let you use these cards to pay bills. You will need to have cash in order to transfer funds.
How do you obtain an unemployment debit card? It's easy. Just go online to one of the several state unemployment offices' websites. Depending on the office, you may be able to apply online. However, many offices require you to mail or fax in your application. If you don't, you may want to check out a paper application, which can still be very useful in the event that your application is accepted.
Don't let fraud get you down. Many people believe they can't be victimized by unemployment debit cards fraud because it's not happening right under their noses. However, there are various fraud companies that target unemployed individuals using fake ID's and personal information. Some of these scam artists even have the look and feel of legitimate employment agencies, so it can be hard to tell the difference. To make it harder for would-be victims, the government recently started requiring employers to provide photos on their applicants before they're given a job. This makes it more likely that someone applying for a job will have photos because it confirms their identity.
Another way to protect yourself when using your unemployment debit card is to never, ever write down your debit card or bank account numbers on anything. For example, never write your debit card or bank account numbers down on pieces of paper, or even on the refrigerator in case you forget. Also, be careful of the ATM's near where you store your cards. If an employee in the unemployment department finds out that you're using your debit card at the ATM, he might check it against the database that you and your bank use to keep track of your financial activity. He might discover fraudulent charges on your account.
You can protect yourself from fraud if you carefully follow the state regulations regarding receiving unemployment benefits. You should always check the laws for receiving unemployment benefits in your state. Most states require that you must sign a document stating that you understand how the benefits will be used. Even if you follow the regulations, you may be caught up later on and unable to withdraw your benefits because of some misinterpretation of the law.
Many people don't have bank accounts because they do not have enough money to open one. If you need a bank account, talk to the customer service people at your local bank and tell them that you want to open a savings account. Ask if you can get a debit card issued through their bank account. Often you will be able to get a debit card for free with a new bank account. The issuing bank will issue a replacement card that has your name, address, photo and account number on it.