Inflation relief debit cards to be sent out to Californians starting today through Oct. 18.
The new debit cards, issued by JPMorgan Chase Bank, will give California taxpayers more of the money they are owed as a result of the state taking a financial hit from the coronavirus pandemic. In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the Bay Area and across the country, the state of California declared an emergency April 4. As part of that response, the state had issued some $8.8 billion in direct payments.
JPMorgan, the nation’s largest bank by deposits, is the issuer of the new cards, which will allow residents and businesses to spend pre-paid funds on purchases. The bank says it spent months developing the system.
“The coronavirus pandemic has created a significant financial hardship to Californians and businesses. It is essential that businesses and individuals receive the immediate and ongoing support needed to keep their operations running and continue to provide for their families and communities. That is why we have developed and are issuing Direct Pay-to-Stay cards, allowing people to make purchases to pay for expenses, provide workers with the funds to make their payroll and pay their rent during the pandemic,” Paul M. Nitschke, vice president and head of product and digital banking at JPMorgan Chase, said in a statement announcing the new cards.
The Direct Pay-to-Stay cards will be mailed to Californians as a one-time payment in $20, $50 and $100 denominations. California’s $150,000 COVID-19 Relief Fund — created by the state Legislature, passed by referendum and allocated by the state’s Treasury Department — is also available through these cards. The fund is designed to help low-income Californians and businesses impacted by the pandemic. California is set to receive over $5.5 billion of the federal funds from the CARES Act, which requires states to share 50 percent of the money they receive from federal emergency grants with states and local governments.
According to the bank, people can sign up to receive the $150,000 fund by completing