CHICAGO (CBS) — They expected to wait a few weeks for unemployment benefits, but now it has been two months.
CBS 2 has heard from dozens of people who continue to have issues with the state’s debit card option. Tara Molina has been taking those concerns back to Gov. JB Pritzker and the bank with which the state contracted for unemployment benefit debit cards.
Because the cards aren’t showing up, people continue to reach out – telling us they have had benefits deposited to an account they cannot access.
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Families like Ericka Nava’s can’t wait any longer.
“I hit a wall, and that’s why I reached out to you guys,” Nava said.
Nava hit that wall after waiting eight weeks for a Key Bank debit card.
“I’ve called all different numbers to the Key Bank,” she said. “I wait on hold three, four, five hours.”
The card is the only way her family can access weeks of unemployment benefits deposited into the account attached to it.
“They’re there, but they’re not tangible,” Nava said.
Still without answers, Nava called on Gov. Pritzker to help her family and the dozens of others we’ve heard from.
“He really needs to step up to the plate,” she said. “Reach out to that company. You have the power to. You need to take care of the citizens.”
We brought questions directly to Pritzker, again, during the news conference on Tuesday.
“We’ve been in contact with Key Bank,” he said. “They certainly have the obligation here to make sure those cards are being charged appropriately.”
But the governor did not address the issue of those with benefits and no card. So we followed up with Key Bank.
A representative of the bank did not offer a new solution, but said the bank is working to free up phone lines to help people with this issue, with a website where you can track the status and shipment of your debit card.
Of course, we’ll continue to track this issue.
CBS 2 is committing to Working For Chicago, connecting you every day with the information you or a loved one might need about the jobs market, and helping you remove roadblocks to getting back to work.
We’ll keep uncovering information every day to help this community get back to work, until the job crisis passes. CBS 2 has several helpful items right here on our website, including a look at specific companies that are hiring, and information from the state about the best way to get through to file for unemployment benefits in the meantime.