Illinois to stop debit card unemployment insurance payments

Photo of the Illinois State Capitol building

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced on Nov. 22, 2021, that unemployment insurance payments through state-issued debit cards would end starting Dec. 27, 2021. IDES said payments would continue through paper checks and direct deposit. Claimants will still be able to access the funds on their debit cards after December 27 until their cards expire. 

KeyBank, the debit card vendor for IDES, decided to stop providing the debit cards but did not provide a reason for the change.

Unemployment insurance is a term that refers to a joint federal and state program that provides temporary monetary benefits to eligible laid-off workers who are actively seeking new employment. Qualifying individuals receive unemployment compensation as a percentage of their lost wages in the form of weekly cash benefits while they search for new employment.

The federal government oversees the general administration of state unemployment insurance programs. The states control the specific features of their unemployment insurance programs, such as eligibility requirements and length of benefits.

For more information on Illinois’ unemployment insurance program, click here. For information about unemployment insurance programs across the country, click here.

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