MONTEREY, Calif. (KGO) -- It didn't take long for the California Employment Development Department to send benefits to a jobless art teacher. The only problem was she couldn't access those benefits.
It's a problem many have Californians have told us you're also facing.
Here's what you need to know if this happens to you.
Sue Ann Hillyer shows off some of her artwork. She teaches art in schools, youth and therapy programs.
"All those venues have been shut down," said Hillyer. "Schools are closed. All the private venues are closed."
She applied for unemployment and won approval without a hitch.
The next step would be to receive her EDD debit card where her benefits would be loaded.
"So I waited and I waited and I kept waiting," she said.
She had been informed the card would arrive in less than 10 days.
More than a month passed.
"Meanwhile they're putting money into some account that I don't have access to because I don't have a debit card," said Hillyer.
The EDD acknowledges there have been a wide variety of issues.
Loree Levy of the EDD says some don't realize they can reuse cards from past claims.
"Those cards are good for three years and you can use them," said Levy.
But some have lost their cards or their passwords.
Bank of America administers the debit card program for the state.
It worked with EDD to send out a message on Twitter, advising claimants how to apply for a replacement card.
If you've lost your sign in password or your PIN, you can go online to reset them.
Hillyer says none of that applied to her situation. Her card had expired because she last received unemployment benefits six years ago.
Bank of America says it just added a new feature allowing claimants to check the status of a new card.
That wasn't yet available for Hillyer, so she called the bank, but the automated prompts kept asking her for an account number she didn't have.
"So the account number is on that debit card. So until you get an account number, you're dead in the water," Hillyer said.
All the confusion left her without the money to pay rent in April.
"The first thing you think about is oh, my God. I'm going to be homeless," she said.
Bank of America tells ABC7 you can get to a human by following the prompts for lost cards on their phone line.
Instead, Hillyer called 7 On Your Side. We contacted Bank of America.
The bank fixed everything in 24 hours, telling us it's "pleased to have resolved Ms Hillyer's issue."
"Thank you all so very much," said Hillyer. "I love you all very very much."
Activate your EDD debit card, report a lost or stolen card, or reset your PIN here.
Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.
If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.
Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- COVID-19 Help: Comprehensive list of resources, information
- INTERACTIVE TIMELINE: How close was CA to becoming a NY-level crisis?
- Live updates about coronavirus outbreak in US, around the world
- What will it take to get a COVID-19 vaccine and how will it be made?
- How California's COVID-19 cases stack up against other hot spot states
- Everything you need to know about the Bay Area's shelter-in-place order
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area/
- List: Where can I get tested for COVID-19 in the Bay Area?
- COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during novel coronavirus pandemic
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- Stimulus calculator: How much money should you expect from coronavirus relief bill
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on Asian American community
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on African American community
- What Bay Area tenants need to know about rent payments, eviction amid COVID-19 outbreak
- Here's how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- Symptoms, prevention, and how to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak in the US
- List of stores, companies closing due to coronavirus pandemic
- Canceled late fees, free services available amid COVID-19 crisis
- Here's how you can help during COVID-19 pandemic
- How to maintain learning during school closures
- No masks but here are 100+ products that may help protect you against novel coronavirus germs
- Here's a look at some of history's worst pandemics that have killed millions