UNEMPLOYMENT QUESTIONS: Issues with unemployment benefit debit cards

The viewer is now being sent a new debit card
Posted at 6:34 PM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 18:34:22-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — 7 Eyewitness News is getting answers for people who say they are having problems with New York's unemployment debit cards.

Diana Addeo of Lackawanna is one of them. She received four weeks of deposits, totaling to more than $2,700 in unemployment benefits. It should've been a welcomed sight, the only problem is she never received the physical KeyBank debit card to access money.

KeyBank said the Key2Benefits card is typically mailed out before someone is approved for benefits, to cut back on wait time. Addeo was approved more than a month ago. She was not able to get through to a person when she called KeyBank to try and track the card.

KeyBank said it's issuing 20 times the normal amount of Key2Benefits cards, and 10 times the normal amount of calls. A spokesperson said its adding more customer service reps, and increasing its call volume capacity.

The Department of Labor tells 7 Eyewitness News its also taking steps to increase efficiency, including increasing its phone ports from 1,000 to 10,000 during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also increased its web servers from four to more than 60.

Addeo hasn't had any luck there either.

"I'm so frustrated because I still have bills to pay," she said. "And I'm like everybody else you know, I'm just winging it, I'm waiting, and waiting, but this is 5 weeks."

On Wednesday, after 7 Eyewitness News reached out on Addeo's behalf, she received a call from the Department of Labor saying they will reach out to KeyBank and tell them to issue her a new debit card

Viewers have also reached out having the reverse problem. Dennis and Marianne Tedesco, from the Town of Tonawanda, have the physical debit card, but its not loaded with the right amount of money.

The Tedescos certify the benefits every week, but only received their first two payments. They're missing the last three.

The Department of Labor and KeyBank tell 7 Eyewitness news they are looking into that case as well. We will monitor the developments.