Today I received my Workforce New York Direct Payment Card in the mail. The New York State Department of Labor, in its infinite wisdom, is doing away with unemployment checks next week, and instead has given everyone with a current claim a Chase debit card and an account that's not quite a real bank account into which our money will be deposited.
Now, I'm sure this will save a lot of money and tons of paper for the state. And, not to stereotype, but I'm sure a lot of people on unemployment don't have bank accounts and until now have had to rely on those check cashing places with their high fees. And I should never complain when someone gives me money for not working.
But I don't care about any of that, I only care about how this affects ME. I do have a bank account, so now rather than just walking to an ATM and depositing my check, I have to go to a different ATM (lest I pay a fee), and not even get all the money out 'cause it's not like the unemployment "check" is in multiples of 20, or even whole dollars, then I have to wait in line at my bank 'cause you can't deposit cash in an ATM and I pay all my bills online so I need the money in the account. So this little innovation has turned a simple transaction into a huge inconvenience for me.
Since you can file all your unemployment stuff online anyway, would it have really been so hard for them to just start doing normal direct deposit, and offer the Chase account to people who need it? Is there some way I can blame Governor Pataki for this?