Debit Card FAQs
It takes at least three weeks to process a claim for unemployment benefits and issue payment to most eligible workers. We appreciate your patience.
If you choose to receive payments via a debit card, Bank of America will mail you a card once benefit payments are available. Due to the high volume of claims being processed, it may take a few extra days to receive your debit card in the mail.
If you received Unemployment Insurance, Disability Insurance, or Paid Family Leave benefits on a debit card in the last three years, you will receive your benefit payments on that card. If your card has expired, a new card will automatically be sent to you once funds are available.
Note: If you were issued a card before 2015, you can visit Bank of America's debit card website or contact Bank of America at 1-866-692-9374 (TTY: 1-866-656-5913) to request a new one.
- If you lost your debit card, contact Bank of America as early as possible in the application process to request a replacement card before your first payment. Your new card will arrive 7 to 10 business days from the order date. You have a couple options to request a new card:
- Visit the Bank of America debit card website.
- Contact Bank of America at 1-866-692-9374 (TTY: 1-866-656-5913). You do not need to have your old card number or speak to a representative. Choose the “lost or stolen” option in the automated menu. The call center is experiencing higher than normal wait times and Bank of America is working to address the issue.
Note: Bank of America representatives cannot answer questions about your claim or pending payments.
Payment information is updated daily and is available through your UI Online account or by calling the UI Self-Service Phone Line at 1-866-333-4606.
If your card is lost, stolen, or damaged, it can be replaced at no cost to you. To have a replacement card mailed to you, you must contact the Bank of America debit card customer service by calling:
- 1-866-692-9374 (voice)
- 1-866-656-5913 (TTY)
- Collect at 423-262-1650 (if outside the U.S.)
Bank of America can assist you with a domestic emergency cash transfer if you need funds from your debit card immediately and are still waiting for your card to arrive in the mail. Refer to Bank of America’s Schedule of Bank Fees page for fee information on emergency cash transfers and other services. To request an emergency cash transfer, you must contact the Bank of America debit card customer service by calling:
- 1-866-692-9374 (voice)
- 1-866-656-5913 (TTY)
- Collect at 423-262-1650 (if outside the U.S.)
The debit card allows benefits to be paid to claimants who do not have a bank account and eliminates the need for the EDD to request and maintain bank account information for each claimant. Advantages of the debit card include: ease of use, increased security, and efficient delivery of Disability Insurance, Paid Family Leave, and Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefit payments.
You may choose to transfer some or all of your benefits to your checking or savings account by performing a direct deposit transfer. Information regarding direct deposit transfers is available on the debit card page.
The debit card is mailed to you when you certify for your first week of benefits and the payment is authorized by the EDD. Allow 5 business days for delivery. Subsequent payments are issued to the debit card when you submit a certification and you are determined eligible for payment.
SDI Customers who are eligible for benefits will receive the following three to five business days after their claim is approved:
- A payment notification (DE 2500E).
- California debit card for Unemployment and Disability Benefits notification.
- The debit card.
The following items are in your debit card welcome packet:
- Your debit card
- Instructions and information
- Wallet-size Quick Reference Guide with customer service and fee schedule information
- California Employment Development Department Debit Card Deposit Agreement with Schedule of Bank Fees
When you receive your card, carefully read all information to ensure proper activation and use of the card. We recommend you activate your card immediately.
Once you receive and activate your new debit card, you can then use the card immediately as you would a personal debit card. You can make purchases up to the amount available on your card anywhere Visa® cards are accepted. You can withdraw cash without charge at any Bank of America network ATM, and can make two free withdrawals per benefit deposit at non-network ATMs.
You may also elect to walk into any financial institution that accepts Visa® and cash out the balance on the card. (Note: You’ll need to keep close track of your card balance via phone or online tools if you wish to cash out an exact balance, bank tellers do not have access to your card account information.) In addition, you may also choose to have Bank of America conduct a direct deposit transfer of some or all of the available funds to your personal checking or savings account.
A direct deposit transfer is done electronically and transfers the money available on your debit card account to your personal checking or savings account. Most can be done fairly quickly. After you receive and activate your card, contact Bank of America either online or by phone, 1-866-692-9374 (voice), or TTY 1-866-656-5913, to set up your direct deposit transfer.
Important Information about direct deposit transfers:
- Direct deposit transfers cannot be performed until you receive and activate the debit card.
- You do not need a checking or savings account with Bank of America to set up a direct deposit transfer to your own bank account with another banking institution.
- Direct deposit transfers can be set up as a one-time transfer or as an automatic recurring transfer.
- A valid email account is required.
- Delays may occur until the next business day if you bank at a smaller institution or if the transfer happens over a weekend when banks are closed.
- This option can be set up by contacting Bank of America either online or by phone, 1-866-692-9374 (voice) or 1-866-656-5913 (TTY). Do not contact the EDD to set up a direct deposit transfer.
- If immediate access to your funds is critical, you may choose to only have a portion of your benefits transferred to your personal bank account and keep the remainder on your card so those funds are immediately available.
- You may begin, modify, or stop your direct deposit transfer at any time.
- Direct deposit transfers may also be referred to as a funds transfer.
After you receive and activate your card, contact Bank of America either online or by phone, 1-866-692-9374 (voice), or TTY 1-866-656-5913.
You will need the following to set up a direct deposit transfer:
- A debit card issued in your name.
- A valid e-mail account.
- Your routing and account numbers for the account you want to transfer the money to.
No. You do not need a checking or savings account with Bank of America or any other financial institution to receive your benefit payments on the debit card.
Bank of America does not share information about card accounts or transactions with third party agencies for privacy reasons. As a normal practice, the EDD will only have access to information related to the amount of benefits deposited to your debit card and the date those deposits are made. The exception to this practice is when UI and State Disability Insurance fraud is suspected and being investigated. In this case, transaction information will be made available to EDD investigators as part of the investigative process and could lead to disqualification of benefits with additional penalties and criminal prosecution.
No. The EDD or Bank of America will never contact you under any circumstances to request confidential information about your debit card. If you receive a call, email or letter requesting confidential information about your account such as your debit card number, PIN or SSN, do not respond.
No. The debit card is not associated with a credit line and will not show up on your credit report. Your debit card allows you to access your benefit payment funds from your debit card account.
Check out the Bank of America debit card website for additional information about the debit card, current debit card services, and for information about new debit card services from Bank of America.
Fees can be avoided with careful use of your card. When you receive your debit card and welcome packet, thoroughly read your debit card deposit agreement and refer to the Schedule of Bank Fees section to make sure you understand any transaction and service fees that may apply to your card. Fees can be avoided by following the tips provided in the welcome packet.
There are no fees for the following:
- Cash-back with purchases at grocery stores, drug stores, and U.S. post office locations.
- ATM withdrawals at domestic Bank of America ATMs.
- Two free ATM withdrawals per benefit deposit at non-Bank of America ATMs (though the other Bank may charge a transaction or service fee).
- Unlimited teller cash access at any bank or credit union that accepts Visa® cards.
- Unlimited direct deposit transfers to a checking or savings account (including non-bank of America accounts).
- Unlimited balance inquiries at ATMs and online customer service.
- Unlimited automated and live customer service inquiries.
- Free domestic card replacement.
Fees may apply for the following:
- ATM withdrawals at non-Bank of America ATMs (after the two free transactions per deposit).
- International ATM withdrawals.
- Non-Bank of America ATM transactions by ATM owners who may impose an additional “convenience fee” or “surcharge fee.”
- Domestic Emergency Cash Transfer.
- International Transaction Fee.
Some merchants may charge a “convenience fee” or “surcharge fee” for debit card transactions.
A new debit card will automatically be issued to you when your card is set to expire if there has been financial activity (deposit or transaction) in the last 90 days or you have a card balance of $20 or more. New cards will be mailed on the first business day of the month that the card is due to expire. You should receive a new card within 7-10 days after the mail date.
A new debit card will not be issued if there has been no financial activity (deposit or transaction) in the last 90 days and the account balance is $19.99 or less. For information about a new card after your card expires, contact Bank of America.
If you receive a new card, it does not indicate that a new claim has been filed or reopened, or that you are currently eligible to receive additional benefit payments. If you have recently filed or reopened a claim and have questions about the status of your claim, contact us.