Direct deposit eliminates the need for a paper check, check-cashing fees and the possibility of a lost or stolen check. Also, you will receive benefits quicker than through the mail. To sign up for direct deposit, you must have an open unemployment claim, have a checking or savings account and supply your state's unemployment agency with the required information.
How to Apply
Most states require an applicant to apply for direct deposit using an online form. Some states, such as Massachusetts, allow you to call the Labor and Workforce Development office and provide direct deposit information. To apply, you need your bank's American Banking Association (ABA) routing number and your bank account number. These numbers can be found on the bottom of your check. The first 9 digits is the ABA routing number and the last set of numbers is your bank account number.
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Direct Deposit Setup Time
The time it takes to set up direct deposit for your unemployment benefits varies by state, but there could be delays due to the current coronavirus pandemic. Generally, it takes five to seven days for processing. Some states, such as Washington, can take up to seven days and filers are directed to wait at least seven days before attempting to track the payment. Whereas Ohio, on the other hand, takes only three to four days to set up a direct deposit account.
Your state unemployment office verifies that the ABA routing number is valid and the bank account information is accurate. To speed up the process, you can set up direct deposit when you initially apply for unemployment compensation.
Benefit Deposit Time
Once your direct-deposit information is verified, you can receive your benefits directly into your bank account. Your filing method will not change, but instead of waiting for a paper check to be mailed, the money will be wired to your bank directly from the unemployment office's account. In most cases, the deposit will appear in your account within 48 hours of your approved claim, though some states take longer and others, less.
Considerations for Direct Deposit
Verify that your bank accepts direct-deposit transactions, since not every banking institution accepts them. If your bank does not accept direct-deposit transactions, search for a bank that does. Another option is to inquire if your state's unemployment service offers a debit card specifically for unemployment payments. Your unemployment benefits will be direct deposited onto the card. Many states, such as Ohio, offer this service to its residents.