Money being deposited, debit cards working after OESC works overnight

Mike Seals - June 15, 2021 11:49 pm

Day two at the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission offices and people were once again lined up, hoping for answers.

“So many of these people are kind of living paycheck to paycheck, even with unemployment,” said Christina Jenkins. “Bill collectors don’t care if you have money or not.”

Even as some people waited, the issue of delayed payments and a days-long fraud freeze on debit cards were already fixed.

“When I got inside the lady told me my account was already unlocked, the hold was off,” said Myra Sigala. “Hopefully everything is okay and it runs smooth.”

As the morning went on, the line of people dwindled to none.

“We listened yesterday to your frustration and acted really quickly,” said OESC Executive Director Shelley Zumwalt.

Zumwalt says the agency had a team working overnight looking into fraud issues and unlocking accounts, giving people that sigh of relief this morning.

“It wasn’t just random, it was based on data and when we went back analyzed that data further, that’s how we began releasing cards that were associated with legitimate claimants,” said Zumwalt.

The debit card freeze affected roughly 20% of card holders, causing panic for the many who rely on these benefits.

According to Zumwalt, she says the agency did the best it can to avoid a widespread impact.

“We went back to analyze the actions that we took to make sure we had done it in a way that wasn’t allowing fraudulent activity to occur but was also giving access to legitimate claimants,” said Zumwalt.

The OESC says some Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments were also delayed yesterday. The agency says that money was processed overnight and should start showing up in accounts on Tuesday.

Now that things appear to be running smoothly, the agency says they can’t guarantee an issue like this won’t happen again but will walk a fine line to get the issue resolved quickly.

“Hopefully people are seeing that as oppose to the disruption that was caused yesterday,” said Zumwalt.


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