As cash-strapped states face larger payouts of unemployment benefit payments, an increasing number of states are partnering with banksters like Chase, Citi and U.S. Bank to cut “administrative costs” by issuing prepaid debit cards to distribute unemployment benefits. So far, 31(?) states have started using bank issued debit cards, according to the Labor Department.

While the states save hundreds of thousands of dollars by switching from paper (checks) to plastic (cards), unemployed Americans using these unemployment “debit cards” are facing fees for trying to use the money, for things like going to the ATM too many times in one day, cash withdrawals to pay the rent, or for just checking the balance one too many times.

Stories all over the internet have emerged of card recipients being charged $6 for two ATM transactions and a $20 overdraft charge for a pre-approved transaction. Once again, the American consumer is left holding the bag when it comes to the service fees attached to those cards. Not to mention these cards offer weaker consumer protections than credit cards or debit cards that are linked to bank accounts.

In Colorado the unemployed will be surprised to find that a portion of their benefits will go into the pocket of Citi Bank to pay for bank fees. Each purchase made on the Citi Prepaid Unemployment Benefits Debit Card is 10 cents, using a pin number costs 10 cents, withdrawing money from a non-Citi ATM is $1.50 and not using the card for a year is $1.50/each month thereafter.

How can this be allowed to continue? First the banksters cause us to loose our jobs and now they are making a profit off our unemployment benefit insurance!

Candice

Unemployed in Oregon, ReliaCard Holder since 2010

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