Inflation relief debit cards to be sent out to Californians starting today
AUSTIN — A new program providing relief to low- and moderate-income Californians will begin with a debit card issued to low- and moderate-income people at the direction of state Treasurer Bill Lockyer.
The new debit card will be available for cash withdrawal starting tonight and will provide 1 percent interest on all deposits that are made. The card will also be available for purchases of small amounts for the first year as the economy recovers. The card will allow debit card purchases up to a total of $50, but the amount can be set on the card for each purchase so users may make purchases of $500 each, $1,000 each, $5,000 each, or more, with small amounts left over.
The debit card will be available for use starting at 6 p.m. Friday through Oct. 31. Lockyer said he hoped the timing would be right for the card to be available with the economy recovering.
The new debit card will be a replacement for the state’s existing $7 million in unclaimed property cards program that expired in June.
The first card issued will be to someone who had an unclaimed property card number. A debit card number will be granted to people who had an unclaimed property card number on Oct. 1, 2006, when the state started collecting the cards. That number will allow the cardholder to get an unclaimed property card if they come forward with proof of residency.
To be eligible for the program, a person must not be in prison, be a noncitizen, have an involuntary psychiatric commitment or be on parole or probation. People who do not have an assigned number will not be eligible and will not have a card. People who are not members of Congress, the state Legislature, or the University of California system are eligible for the program.
People who had an unclaimed property number before December 31, 2005, will not be eligible for the card