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Guide Receiving your unemployment benefits by direct deposit or DUA debit card

If you're eligible for unemployment benefits, you will receive payments on a Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) Debit MasterCard® unless you set up direct deposit. Learn about both options to see which is right for you.

Table of Contents

Using a Debit MasterCard®

Your first unemployment benefits payment will always be in the form of a paper check. You will receive this check approximately 3-4 weeks after you apply for unemployment benefits.

After the first paper check, you will receive benefits via the debit card unless you sign up for direct deposit to a checking or savings account. You must activate your debit card when you receive it. The DUA Debit MasterCard® is a safe and secure method of receiving your unemployment benefits.

With the DUA debit card, you can:

  • Get quicker access to your benefits
  • Avoid overdraft fees
  • Pay for items everywhere that MasterCard® debit cards are accepted at no charge, including:
    • In stores
    • Online
    • By phone
  • Get cash and check your balance at any Bank of America or Allpoint ATM at no charge Charges may apply if you don’t access your money at one of these ATM locations.
  • Get cash back with your purchases at many grocery and convenience stores at no charge

Key Actions for Using a Debit MasterCard®

Setting up direct deposit for unemployment benefits

Once you set up direct deposit, it will take 9 business days for your bank to verify your account. During this time, your benefits will be on hold and will not be paid out until your account has been verified.

If you want your unemployment benefit payments sent directly to your bank account, you need to set up direct deposit. You can set up direct deposit online or by phone. 

To set up direct deposit, you will need: 

  • Your Social Security number
  • The routing number of your bank
  • The account number of your checking or savings account

Once you set up direct deposit, it will take 9 business days to verify your bank account. While your bank account is being verified, you must continue to request benefits weekly and certify your eligibility using TeleCert or UI Online. Once your claim has been approved, your benefits will be deposited into your account 2 business days after you request your weekly benefits.

Key Actions for Setting up direct deposit for unemployment benefits

Changing your direct deposit information

You can change your direct deposit information at any time, either online or by phone. To change your direct deposit information, you will need:

  • Your Social Security number
  • The routing number of your bank
  • The account number of your checking or savings account

Key Actions for Changing your direct deposit information

Canceling direct deposit

If you cancel direct deposit for your unemployment benefits it will take effect immediately. You can cancel direct deposit either online or by phone.

Your future benefit payments will be issued to your existing DUA Debit MasterCard®. If you do not already have a DUA debit card, you will be issued one after direct deposit is canceled.

For questions about your DUA debit card, contact Bank of America customer service by phone at (855) 898-7292.

Key Actions for Canceling direct deposit

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