You may receive your first payment no sooner than 2.5 weeks after you first apply for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. Eligibility issues or untimely weekly certifications will delay your payments.

Why didn’t I receive a payment for the first week?

Under Idaho law, you must serve a waiting week at the start of a new claim. You won’t be paid for the waiting week, but you will get credit so you can begin filing payable weeks.

To serve a waiting week, you must be eligible. This means that you:

  • Meet all personal eligibility requirements.
  • Filed a valid weekly certification.
  • Were totally unemployed or earned less than 1.5 times your weekly benefit amount.

Read more about a waiting week here.

How will I know if my payment was processed?

Claimant Portal will show you the status of your payments. Click on the Manage Claims tab and view your payment information for each week you file.

What if I think my payment is late?

Claimant Portal will show you when your payment was processed. Click on the Manage Claims tab and view your payment information.

If the system says your payment has been processed and you feel you should have already received it, call us at (208) 332-8942.

How are benefits paid?

Payments are made as direct deposits or on a U.S. Bank ReliaCard. A ReliaCard will be mailed to you if you don’t choose to direct deposit payments in a checking or savings account.

See the following for more information on direct deposit and ReliaCard.

Direct deposit:

You can enroll in direct deposit through the Claimant Portal. By enrolling, you authorize Idaho Labor to credit your bank account each week you are eligible for payment.

What information do I need to enroll?

  • A valid email address.
  • Your financial institution’s 9-digit routing number.
  • Your checking account number (up to 17 digits).

Your account and routing numbers are on your checks. You can also call your bank to verify these numbers.

How do I set up direct deposit?

You can set up direct deposit through the Claimant Portal. Log in and follow these steps to sign up:

  1. On the Account tab, click on the Change Payment Method link.
  2. Select Sign Up for Direct Deposit.
  3. Enter the routing and account number for the account where you want your benefits paid.
  4. Enter your bank name and a nickname for the account.
  5. Make sure your account information is correct, then click Save.

How long does it take for services to begin?

Direct deposit usually takes up to 2 days to get started. Idaho Labor must first verify the information you give us. If there is a problem, you will be told immediately in an email.

When can I expect my payment to be deposited into my account?

After your waiting week, you will usually get paid 2-3 business days after filing a payable weekly certification. You must file your weekly certification and meet all eligibility requirements. Then, the system will transfer your payment to the account you provided.

Payments won’t be sent on weekends or state, federal or banking holidays.

What if a deposit of benefits is not posted to my account?

Claimant Portal will show if a claim was processed or if there are issues. Click on the Account tab to check.

If a payment was issued but is not in your account, you must contact your bank to find out when the payment will be posted.

If a payment has not been posted within 4 days from the time you filed your weekly certification and no issue is pending, you must contact your bank.

What record of my UI benefit deposit will I receive?

Claimant Portal will tell you when payment for a week was issued. Click on the Manage Claims tab to view deposit information.

Your bank will also give you a record of deposits made to your account on your monthly statements.

Can I participate in direct deposit if I have a joint account?

Yes, but Idaho Labor can’t give UI payment information to others on the account. We won’t get involved in disputes about use of funds deposited to a joint account.

You can’t deposit your benefit payments to any account on which you aren’t a legal holder or signer.

Must my bank be in Idaho?

No. Our department can deposit to most banks. Confirm that your bank accepts direct deposits before enrolling.

Can I deposit only a portion of my benefit payments to an account?

No. If you enroll in direct deposit, your full payment will go to the account of your choice.

If you choose to withhold child support or taxes, they will be withdrawn first. The remaining benefit amount will be deposited in your account.

Can I still have federal taxes withheld when using direct deposit?

Yes. Federal taxes will be withheld from your direct deposit if you choose. This will continue for the benefit year unless you change your withholding.

I’m not good with a computer. Can the Idaho Department of Labor staff help me enter my account and routing information?

No. To protect you and the department, our staff can’t help you enter your direct deposit information.

U.S. Bank ReliaCard option:

You will be mailed a U.S. Bank ReliaCard if you don’t choose direct deposit. See the following for details.

What are the advantages of the ReliaCard?

  • Payments are automatically deposited on the bank card.
  • Your bank card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted.
  • A bank card is safer1 than cash and can be replaced.
  • Your UI benefits can be spent as soon as they are deposited onto the card.
  • You won’t need to pay check-cashing fees or make trips to the bank.
  • You can pay bills or shop online with your card.
  • You can get cash back with purchases at many stores.
  • You can withdraw cash at more than 1.2 million Visa/Plus® ATMs worldwide. You can also make cash withdrawals at any bank that accepts Visa.
  • Bank cards are private. Benefits are deposited onto the card, then only you know how your money is used.
  1. You are generally protected from all liability for unauthorized transactions with Zero Liability. You must call the number on the back of your Card immediately to report any unauthorized use. Certain conditions and limitations may apply. See your Cardholder Agreement for details. Return

When will I receive my card and what do I do then? 

You will be sent a ReliaCard Visa debit card after filing a weekly certification for your first payable week. Remember, you must first serve an unpaid waiting week. This means you will be sent a card only after filing your second eligible weekly certification.

It will take 7-10 days for your card to arrive. This means you can expect to get your card in your third week of unemployment if there are no issues with your eligibility.

If there is an issue, we will investigate and make an eligibility decision. If you are found eligible, your card will be mailed 2 days after the decision is made. This gives U.S. bank time to create your card.

Your card will come in a white window envelope with an Indianapolis, IN, return address. When you get your card in the mail, you must activate it by calling (855) 203-3818. Then choose your PIN.

Your first weekly benefit amount will be on your card ready to spend.

Do I need a PIN number to use the card?

Yes. You choose your PIN when you call to activate your card.

When is money available on my card?

Your first payment should be available as soon as you activate your card.

After that, your weekly benefit amounts will be funded to your card 2-4 business days after you file your weekly certification. This is only if you are eligible for payment and there are no pending issues on your account.

If you file your weekly certification on Sunday before 7 p.m., your card should be funded by Wednesday around 8 a.m. If you file after Sunday or Monday, your benefit amount won’t be available until Thursday or later.

Claimant Portal will show you if funds are available on your card. Click on the Manage Claims tab and review payment status in the Weekly Certifications table. If funds are available, the weekly payment row will say “payment released.”

How long is my card good?

Your card is good for 3 years. Don’t dispose of your card after you stop filing for benefits.

Are there fees associated with using a U.S. Bank ReliaCard?

Yes. There are service fees for:

  • Using ATMs outside of U.S. Bank or MoneyPass networks.
  • Card replacement with expedited delivery (up to 3 business days).
  • Foreign currency transactions.
  • Transferring funds to another account.

There are no fees for point of sales purchases or getting cash back during a transaction.

» Read more about ReliaCard fees here.

How do I use my bank card to make purchases?

Your ReliaCard Visa debit card works much like other prepaid or debit cards. To use it:

  1. Know your balance before you shop.
  2. Select “Debit” at check out if you want cash back with your purchase.
  3. Keep your receipt to track your remaining balance.

You can use your card wherever Visa is accepted. Examples include:

  • Online.
  • Over the phone.
  • Grocery stores.
  • Retail stores.
  • Restaurants.
  • Medical offices.

How can I get cash with my card?

There are 3 ways to get cash with your ReliaCard Visa:

  1. Use your card to get cash at ATMs. There is a $1.25 fee for withdrawing from an out-of-network ATM.
  2. Withdraw cash at banks or credit unions that accept Visa.
  3. Select “Debit” at check out and use the cash-back option where available.

How do I get cash at a bank or credit union?

Ask the teller for a cash withdrawal in the amount you wish to withdraw. Know your balance before you ask because the teller won’t have access to this information. Keep your receipt to track your remaining balance.

How do I get cash back from a merchant?

When the point-of-sale system asks for credit or debit, select “Debit.” Enter your four-digit PIN. Select “Yes” for cash back. Enter the amount and press “OK.”

Where is my nearest U.S. Bank or MoneyPass ATM?

U.S. Bank and MoneyPass ATMs won’t charge you to withdraw cash from your ReliaCard.

Find your nearest U.S. Bank branch location with this online tool.

Find your nearest MoneyPass ATM with this online locator.

How can I check the available balance on my card?

You can check your current available balance 3 ways:

  1. View your account online at
  2. Check your balance free at a MoneyPass ATM or U.S. Bank. Out-of-network banks may charge a fee for this.
  3. Call Cardmember Services toll free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (855) 203-3818.

Can I pay my bills from the ReliaCard website?

Yes, for free. After you log on to the ReliaCard website, select the Bill Pay link and accept the subscriber agreement. You can set up payees and payment options. Payment options include:

  • One-time payment.
  • Pay at a future date.
  • Pay automatically at regular intervals.

Can I add or deposit additional funds from other sources to my card?

No. Only the Idaho Department of Labor can deposit payments to your card.

Who do I call for help and how can I reach ReliaCard Customer Services?

You can call ReliaCard Cardmember Services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (855) 203-3818.

What happens if my card is lost or stolen?

First, call Cardmember Services toll-free to report a lost or stolen card at (855) 203-3818.

A new card will be mailed to you free of charge in up to 10 business days. Any remaining balance will be transferred to the new card. You aren’t responsible for confirmed fraud on your card.

To get a new card sooner, you can ask for expedited delivery. This will cost you $15 in shipping costs and will take up to 3 days.

I am not currently collecting unemployment. Why did I receive a debit card?

Anyone with an activated ReliaCard may be sent a new card, even if you aren’t getting benefits. Keep this card. You will need it if you collect unemployment benefits in the future.

What if I have a balance on my old card?

Any balance on an old card will be transferred to your new card.

How do I know if my new card has a balance?

Call U.S. Bank at (855) 203-3818.

What if my mailing address changed?

Update your contact information on your Claimant Portal. You are responsible for keeping your mailing address current.

What should I do with my old card?

Once you activate your new card, destroy your old card.

What if my card expired, but I did not get a new card?

Go to the Claimant Portal and check the address on file. Then contact U.S. Bank at (855) 203-3818.

Can money be deducted for child support payments?

Yes. We are sometimes required to deduct UI benefits for child support under Idaho law.

A voluntary support agreement or a court order for child support payments will cause us to withhold some or all of your benefit amount. The Department of Health and Welfare enters information directly into the UI system.

You must contact the Department of Health and Welfare, Child Support Services for questions about child support enforcement deductions. Call them toll-free at 1-800-356-9868.

Are unemployment insurance benefits taxable?

Yes. Benefits are fully taxable income.

You may choose to have 10% of your unemployment benefits withheld for federal taxes. Idaho Labor can’t withhold for state taxes.

We will mail you and the IRS a Form 1099-G by the end of January. This form shows the total amount of benefits you were paid the previous year. You need this to file income taxes, so keep your address updated. You can also view your 1099-G form on the Claimant Portal.

If you were paid benefits by another state, that state will report your tax information. If you have questions about your taxes, contact the IRS or a tax consultant.

Can I change my tax withholding on my unemployment insurance payments?

Yes. You can change your federal tax withholdings in the Account section of the Claimant Portal. Select Change Tax Withholding if you would like to set your withholdings.

What if I didn’t receive my 1099-G in the mail?

1099-Gs are mailed at the end of January. If you didn’t get your statement in the mail, check your address information on the Claimant Portal. It is your responsibility to make sure Idaho Labor has your current address.

If you were paid benefits by another state, that state will report your tax information. If you have questions about your taxes, contact the IRS or a tax consultant.

IMPORTANT: Your 1099-G includes your entire Social Security number. Failing to update your address could put your identity at risk.

Can I access my 1099-G information online?

Yes. Your 1099-G information will be available online by Jan. 31 on the Claimant Portal. To view it, click the History tab and select the 1099-G Reporting link.

What if I disagree with the amount listed on my 1099-G? 

Check your payment information on the Claimant Portal. Click the Manage Claims tab to see your paid benefits. Benefits are reported based on the “payment released” date, not the week ending date.

If you still disagree with the amount on your 1099-G after a review, please call us at (208) 332-8942.

What if I repaid an overpayment?

Your 1099-G will include any repayments you made. Your 1099-G won’t include penalties and interest because these are not benefits paid to you.

Can I request a 1099-G from prior years?

Yes, you can view prior year 1099-Gs online on the Claimant Portal.

What if I have other questions about my taxes?

We can’t instruct you on how UI affects your taxes. For help:

Call the Idaho State Tax Commission at (208) 334-7660 or (800) 972-7660.

Call the Internal Revenue Service at (800) 829-1040. 

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