Since the programs inception, some of the more common questions the department receives are related to the use of the ESA Pre-Paid Debit cards. Before contacting the department be sure you first acitivate your card.
There are only two ways the ESA money may be accessed and spent:1) Running the ESA debit card as credit on a credit card machine . 2) Running the ESA debit card through the online payment system Pay Pal.
For tracking and security reasons these restrictions will not be lifted by the department and no other form of payment is permitted. Therefore, it will not be possible to:1) Go to a bank and receive cash from the card. 2) Cut a cashiers check using ESA funds. 3) Reimburse yourself for personal funds used for approved expenditures. 4) Any other form or attempt to remove monies from the card. If you encounter a situation where your debit card has been declined you should ask the following question:
Is what I am attempting to purchase an approved expenditure according to the contract that I signed?
Unblocking An Approved Payment
Limiting the debit card transaction capacity has also led to some approved locations not being able to access ESA funds. In an effort to resolve this debit card issue the Arizona Department of Education and the Arizona State Treasurer’s Office has created a list of approved spending locations identified by credit card codes (MCC codes).
Some of the MCC codes have been allowed due to vendors of approved expenditures sharing offices with other businesses or running multiple businesses from one location.
If you are having difficulty accessing your card for what you believe is an approved expenditure please review the list of Approved MCC Codes.
If you have an approved expense that is being declined, please obtain the merchants MCC code (Merchant Category Classification Code) from the merchant and, if it is not included on the list of currently approved MCC codes please complete an MCC Code Add Request Form and contact The Arizona State Treasurer’s Office at LorraineJ@aztreasury.gov. Approval of a new MCC code may take up to ten day business days. Please indicate in your e-mail a rush request.
Note: any MCC code that you wish to add to the approved list must be authorized by the Arizona Department of Education.
ADE allows online payments for ESA parents that homeschool, utilize tutors, educational therapies or send their child to a private school that doesn’t have a access to a credit card machine. It is incubant upon the parent to plan ahead of time and set up a PayPal account to pay the neccesary educational provides and vendors.
ADE is not responsible for creating, facilitating or brokering additional payment methods or plans to pay private entities. For troubleshooting please contact PayPal customer support. For additional tips and information consider joining the ESA Parent Group.