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Frustration Over Oklahoma Unemployment Debit Card

Posted at 9:54 PM, Apr 10, 2020

TULSA, Okla. — More than 200,000 Oklahomans have filed for unemployment, causing issues and delays with the system.

“After being on hold for three hours I got cut off," said Susan Dale. "And now I can’t get anybody on the phone.”

Related Story: Oklahoma Employment Security Commission Holds Unemployment Town Hall

Dale was furloughed from her restaurant job in mid-March, immediately filing for unemployment. She got her unemployment debit card but has had problems getting it to work. Causing her to make more phone calls.

“And of course every time you call they say if you’ve called two times during the month, there is a small fee," she said. "So, I have no idea how many fees I’m going to have taken out.”

She set up a direct deposit for her unemployment check, but those were getting rejected. She was told she’ll eventually get her money 10 days later, but if she keeps doing direct deposit, that cycle will continue. She can't get the website or app to recognize her card. She was also told to try her card at an ATM, something she’s not willing to do.

“How many people with this virus have gone to the ATM?" she said. "I’m high risk. I have asthma. I had an asthma attack a year and a half ago that I turned blue. I’m not going outside. My husband’s at high risk.”

Dale isn’t alone in her unemployment card frustrations. More than 2,000 people dialed into the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission’s town hall Friday. There were several questions and concerns about cards not working. The commission said it can often be due to wrong information getting put in.

“Sometimes if there is conflicting information in our system where there may be a birthday, if one number is inverted, it does prohibit you being able to actually activate that card and use it.”

Dale’s problem still isn’t fixed and her money is running out. She’s tired of making phone calls and wants a simpler way of getting her money.

"Forget technology," she said. "You’ve obviously proven the system is not working. So, instead of dragging this out longer, just mail us a check.”

You can visit OESC's website here.

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