Change affects UC and SWIF claimants who receive payments via prepaid debit card
Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Treasury Department is reminding claimants of Unemployment Compensation (UC) and State Workers’ Insurance Fund (SWIF) that changes are coming to the way benefits are paid to those who utilize the programs’ prepaid debit card option.
Important information, including a new Money Network prepaid debit card, will be mailed to affected claimants. It is imperative that UC and SWIF claimants verify that their correct mailing address is on file with the Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) to ensure all materials are received in a timely manner. Claimants can also choose to change their payment method to direct deposit by visiting L&I’s website.
The new Money Network prepaid debit card, issued by My Banking Direct, will replace the U.S. Bank ReliaCards® currently in use. The new cards will arrive in a plain white envelope with an Omaha, Nebraska, return address. Recipients should be sure to remove the card before discarding the envelope.
Here are images of the new Money Network prepaid debit card (left) and the U.S. Bank ReliaCard® (right):
February 28, 2023, was the last day UC/SWIF benefit payments were loaded to Reliacards. Funds will not transfer from Reliacards to new Money Network prepaid debit cards. Those with remaining funds on their Reliacard should continue to use the card until its balance reaches zero ($0.00). Remaining funds can also be transferred to a personal savings or checking account.
Benefit payments will begin to be loaded onto the new Money Network prepaid debit cards on March 24, 2023.
Those who have filed or will file claims between February 17, 2023, and approximately March 20, 2023, will likely receive one or more benefit payments via check issued by the Pennsylvania Treasury Department and mailed to the address on record with L&I. This is another reason it’s necessary for claimants to verify their correct address with L&I. UC claimants can now update their mailing address by logging into their account.
L&I is allowing claimants who do not want to receive paper checks to voluntarily choose not to file claims for the five weeks ending Saturday, February 25, through Saturday, March 25, 2023. Those taking this option would then be able to file for all five weeks between Friday, March 24, and Saturday, April 1, 2023, without those claims being considered late or having to be reopened. The accumulated benefits would then be loaded directly onto the new Money Network prepaid debit cards, eliminating any paper check payments during the transition period.
While the number of people affected by this change will vary depending on the number of claims, approximately 47,000 claimants statewide will receive Money Network prepaid debit cards by the end of March. Nearly all of those will be recipients of UC benefits; the number of SWIF benefit recipients affected by the change is estimated to be fewer than 20.
Treasury makes no determinations regarding UC and SWIF eligibility or benefit payment amounts. All questions regarding program eligibility and payment amounts should be directed to L&I.
Direct URLs for the relevant resources from Treasury and L&I are:https://www.patreasury.gov/UCdebitcard
In 2022, as Treasury’s contract with U.S. Bank for the ReliaCard was coming to an end, Money Network was selected as the successful bidder to provide debit card services to the UC program following an extensive and open competitive procurement process. Money Network Financial, LLC, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fiserv, headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin. The Money Network prepaid debit card is issued by My Banking Direct, a service of New York Community Bank.