Schemery Zicolello

Pennsylvania to switch workers' compensation debit cards

Some jobs have an inherent element of risk where workplace accidents can easily happen. For others they may feel safer at work. In reality a workplace injury or illness can happen at any Pennsylvania workplace. When someone is injured on the job, workers' compensation is available to help cover the costs of the accident.

These costs can include lost wages, medical expenses and rehabilitative costs. Those who suffer permanent disability in a workplace accident may rely on workers' compensation to cover all the necessary expenses for their families. Nearly 40 percent of these families receive this compensation on state issued debt cards.

As of March 15, Pennsylvanians receiving workers' compensation on debit cards will need to switch to a new card system. The state has announced that it will be making a switch because the old system had so many unnecessary fees. For example, some people were getting charged just for having the cards whether or not they are using them. Under the current system people are also charged for moving their workers' compensation payments into personal accounts.

Under the new system, it is estimated that the 150,000 Pennsylvanians receiving workers' compensation payments through the use of a debit card will save $5 million in fee charges. With the new card -- sponsored through JP Morgan Chase -- there will be more ATMs and fewer fees. According to officials, there will be no fees for accessing money through network ATMs.

This is likely good news for many injured employees who rely on workers' compensation to make ends meet while they recover. This change allows them to get more out of the benefits they deserve.

Source: CBS Philly, "Pa. Jobless, Workers' Compensation Recipients To Save Money With New Debit Cards," Tony Romeo, Jan. 25, 2013

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