JPMorgan Chase has been selected by the Texas Workforce Commission to provide debit cards for unemployment insurance benefits, which will replace traditional paper checks.

Under the terms of the partnership, JPMorgan Chase will supply the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) with up to 290,000 debit cards a year. The TWC cards can be used like any other debit card – to purchase items from merchants or get cash from an ATM.

The JPMC-TWC debit cards will be topped up electronically through accounts created to hold the unemployment insurance benefits. The cards can be used at any merchant or ATM that accepts Visa and at all Visa member banks and credit unions nationwide. Furthermore, claimants can get cash without any surcharge at more than 800 Chase ATMs in Texas and over 7,000 Chase ATMs nationwide, at all AllPoint ATMs nationwide and with purchases at many retailers, depending on store policy.

Individual claimants will be issued a debit card upon qualifying for benefits. Once activated, the card accounts will automatically receive the approved funds every two weeks.

The new benefits card provides greater convenience as claimants get their benefits faster, do not have to pay check cashing fees and can access funds even if they do not have a bank account. The cards are also safer as claimants can leave their funds in a secure environment instead of carrying cash or keeping it at home. The accounts are FDIC-insured and fully covered by federal consumer protection regulations.

Claimants can also check their balances via a 24/7 toll-free number or online.