Receive your unemployment benefits by debit card

You can choose to receive your unemployment benefits by debit card. It’s safe – no more lost or stolen checks. It’s also convenient and you’ll get your benefits sooner.

The card is issued by KeyBank and you can use it to make purchases or cash withdrawals. You’ll also have free access to online banking to view transactions, pay bills or transfer funds to personal accounts.

How to sign up

  • You can sign up for a debit card at the time you apply for unemployment benefits or after you’ve applied.
  • To sign up online, sign into eServices. In the About me section, choose Update. Then under I want to, choose Update payment information and follow the instructions.
  • You can also call the claims center at 800-318-6022 and speak to a claims agent.

Frequently asked debit card questions

Q: When will I receive my debit card?

If you are eligible for unemployment benefits, you should receive your debit card by mail within 7-10 business days of applying or after you request to be switched to the card. The card is issued directly from KeyBank to the address on record at the time of the request. With your card, you will receive a welcome package that includes instructions on how to use the card.

If your card does not arrive after 10 days, contact KeyBank at 866-295-2955.

Q: How do I activate my card?

When you receive your welcome packet from KeyBank, it will contain the debit card, instructions and a phone number to call to activate the card.

Q: How do I select a PIN for my card?

You will set your PIN when you call to activate your card. You can change your PIN by calling 866-295-2955 or on the cardholder website.

Q.  Where can I use the card?

The debit card can be used to make purchases anywhere MasterCard debit cards are accepted. You can use your card for online, phone and mail order purchases.

You can also use your card to withdraw cash at ATMs, banks or credit unions or by getting cash back with purchases at participating retailers. Funds are automatically deducted from your card balance.

Q. Do I select credit or debit on the merchant’s terminal when making a purchase?

Select “credit” to make a purchase. Select “debit” to get cash back with your purchase available at participating retailers. (You will have to enter your 4-digit PIN.)

Q: How do I withdraw cash? Are there ATM fees?

  • You can withdraw cash at no charge from any KeyBank, Walgreens or Allpoint ATM. Visit to find the in-network ATM nearest you. You will pay a fee to withdraw cash from other ATMs.
  • Cardholders can also receive cash withdrawals from tellers at all bank and credit union branches that accept MasterCard.

Q: Can I transfer funds from my debit card to a personal account?

Yes. You can transfer some or all of your balance to a personal checking or savings account through the website.

Q: Can I receive cash back when using my debit card at retail locations?

Yes. You can choose to get cash back with no fee when you make a purchase at participating merchants, such as grocery and convenience stores.

Q: How will I know when funds are loaded to my card?

You may self-enroll in optional text or email alerts to inform you when funds are added to your account and when you have a low or negative balance. To enroll in the alerts, login to your account at

Q: Can I load money to my card?

No. Only the Employment Security Department can add funds to your account.

Q: How can I check my balance and access my transaction history?

You can check your balance and view your transaction history online at You can also check your balance for free at any in-network ATM or call the customer support number provided with your card.

Q: Can I request a second debit card for use by a family member?

No. This card is specific to the person who is eligible for unemployment benefits.

Q: Can I use my card at a gas pump?

Yes. However, if you use your card to pay at the pump, a maximum hold may be placed on your account to initiate your transaction. This amount will be held until the actual transaction amount clears. If you don’t want funds held while waiting for the transaction to clear, pay the cashier for your gasoline purchase. Payments made directly to the cashier clear immediately for the actual transaction amount. Restaurants and car rental companies may place similar maximum holds on transactions. Refer to your card’s Terms and Conditions for additional information.

Q: Can my card by overdrawn?

In most cases, a purchase that exceeds the available balance on your card will not be approved. In very limited circumstances, it may result in a negative balance; however, you will not be charged an overdraft fee.

Q: What should do if my card was lost or stolen?

Contact the Key2Benefits Customer Support line at 866-295-2955.

Q: Who should I contact if I have questions about the amount loaded on my card?

If you question the amount loaded on to your card, you should call the claims center at 800-318-6022. KeyBank can’t answer questions about how much you should have received in benefits.

Q: Do Employment Security staff have access to my debit card number?

No. Only KeyBank and the cardholder have access to that information.

Q: Who should I contact if I have questions about my card?

For questions about your debit card, contact the Key2Benefits Customer Support line at 866-295-2955.