Governor Malloy: Unemployment
Insurance Benefits Go Paperless, Achieves Noteworthy Savings
Immediate Release: February 18, 2011
Contact: Nancy Steffens
Department of Labor, Communications Director
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced today that a move by the
state Department of Labor towards a new paperless direct deposit system for
unemployment insurance benefits will save the state approximately $300,000 a
month on printing and mailing costs – a notable shift toward finding
efficiencies that reduces state spending while improving services. The Governor
said the move is an example of the type of change he would like to carry across
all state departments as he continues looking for ways to reduce costs.
“This is absolutely the type of move the state needs to shift towards across all
realms of governmental services – doing more with less,” Governor Malloy said.
“The electronic method will provide an even better unemployment insurance
program for this state, while at the same time saving more than $3.6 million a
year in unnecessary paper, printing and mailing costs.”
During the month of January, the Labor Department began asking claimants to
select one of two new electronic payment methods, either direct deposit to a
bank account or a Visa debit card provided by Chase Bank. Upon its launch in
the first week of February, more than $45 million in electronic payments were
made. Approximately 70 percent of recipients chose direct deposit, while the
remaining 30 percent selected a Chase Visa Debit Card.
Prior to this switch, more than 140,000 checks were being printed and mailed
each week – an expenditure the state no longer has to pay.
Governor Malloy said, “The debit card and direct deposit system will benefit
claimants by giving them direct access to their weekly benefit payments without
the need to wait for their check to arrive in the mail. Moving to the more
secure method of electronic payments should also help eliminate instances of
checks getting delayed in the mail during the holidays – or worse yet – stolen
The Labor Department launched a special website,
www.NoPaperChecksCT.com, to provide instructions on this new DirectBenefits
program, including frequently asked questions, a fee schedule, and a link to the
agency’s unemployment insurance site for enrollment. Individuals can also
direct any questions they may have about the DirectBenefits program to
Claimants opting for a debit
card receive an information kit from Chase Bank that includes guidelines for
activating their card and how to avoid charges when using it. The Labor
Department has also developed materials about the new program with enrollment
tips for both direct deposit and debit card, and a list of banks and credit
unions for those that need to open an account for direct deposit.