Some state organizations no longer write checks for child support payments that custodial parents are required to receive. This is probably why you need to know what is the EPPICard.
Some states are currently in the process of transitioning away from printing and sending paper checks and implementing the new payment method, the EPPICard. This new process allows beneficiaries to receive their funds immediately via a state-issued debit card, without having to wait for their checks to arrive in the mail.
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What is the EPPICard?
The EPPICard is a prepaid debit card, issued by a state organization to custodial parents. It is electronically loaded with your child support payments.
How does the EPPICard work?
State-specific guidelines vary, but generally a state organization that processes child support payments charges the payments to the recipient’s EPPICard within two bank business days after collecting and processing the payments. For example, in South Carolina, the South Carolina State Department of Social Services/Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) makes transfers electronically. Recipients have immediate access to their funds and they can use their EPPICard cards anywhere debit cards are accepted.
How to activate the EPPICard
After your state’s respective office issues you an EPPICard, you will need to use an automated voice response system to activate your card. You will receive instructions to activate it, but you will have to wait until the first deposit is cleared before you can use it. EPPICard cards are FDIC insured and protected by the Personal Identification Number (PIN) you assign during the activation process.
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Make Purchases and Pay Bills with the EPPICard
To make purchases, simply present your EPPICard anywhere debit cards are accepted, including grocery stores, retailers, and online merchants. Many merchants will also refund your purchase if you select the ‘refund’ option at the card terminal before paying. You can pay your bills in person or online, just like you would with any other debit card. Unlike a credit card company that bills you monthly for your purchases, the funds in your EPPICard account are immediately deducted as soon as you use it.
Keep reading: What is an EBT card (Electronic Benefit Transfer Card)?
Receive cash at an ATM
By simply inserting your EPPICard card into an ATM and entering your PIN, you can check your balance and withdraw money from your account. You can also present the EPPICard card to a bank teller and request cash.
Even if your EPPICard card is not linked to a checking or savings account, you can select the “checking” or “savings” option at the ATM and press the “cash withdrawal” button to withdraw your funds. Some banks will charge you a surcharge for using their ATM terminals, so be sure to check your state’s EPPICard guidelines for a list of banks that offer free ATM services.
Specific Guidelines for EPPICards
EPPICard cards are known by different names, depending on each state. For example Ohio child support EPPICards are called e-QuickPay cards, and Pennsylvania child support cards are simply called Pennsylvania Debit MasterCards, but each is still an EPPICard.
Each state also has different guidelines about which banks offer free ATM services, which banks impose ATM fees, how many free cash withdrawals you can make each month, and even the fees that may be associated with calls to customer support. . Be sure to read all of the information you receive with your EPPICard for the specific rules in your state.