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August 14, 2006

Illinois Department of Employment Security Announces Direct Deposit for Recipients of Unemployment Insurance Benefits
Agency Pursued Direct Deposit Options to Enhance Reliability and Safety of Unemployment Payments

CHICAGO – In an effort to improve service, delivery and convenience to those qualified for unemployment insurance benefits in Illinois, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today the availability of the direct deposit of unemployment insurance payments statewide.  The direct deposit system places the funds in the claimants’ bank account within two days after they certify for benefits.

“We listened to the requests of those receiving unemployment insurance benefit payments for an alternative to waiting to receive their checks in the mail, and responded with a statewide direct deposit program,” IDES Director Brenda Russell said.  “Direct deposit provides a low-cost way to disperse payments quickly and more securely.  IDES believes that offering direct deposit to the unemployed is yet another example of our continued commitment to improving customer service.”

The move away from delivering checks in the mail to a direct deposit system provides benefits to both the unemployment insurance recipient and the state.  Claimants wait for the mail to deliver their checks, which can take three to five days, or longer, if there is an interruption in postal service.  Direct deposit offers IDES clients faster payments, convenience, the prevention of lost or stolen checks and the reliability that benefits will be deposited into their account, correctly and confidentially. 

Recent figures provided by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Management Service (FMS) demonstrates the cost savings that can be achieved by using direct deposit rather than mailed checks.  FMS issued almost 253 million checks during fiscal year 2002, at a unit cost of $0.745.  FMS has determined the cost of a direct deposit disbursement to be $0.126, for a savings of $0.62 per unit.

Unemployment insurance benefit payees who have bank accounts can begin direct deposit services by stopping by their local IDES office, filling out a form and submitting it along with a voided check.  The form can also be found on the internet at http://www.ides.state.il.us/pdf/forms/direct_deposit/authorization.pdf

The Illinois Department of Employment Security administers federally-funded employment services and unemployment insurance through its 70 offices, including the Illinois Employment and Training Centers.  IDES also receives federal grants to provide and analyze labor market statistics and information.  Illinois workforce and career information is available at www.ILWorkInfo.com.


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