Ga. replaces unemployment checks with debit card

ATLANTA — Paper checks will soon be a thing of the past for recipients of Georgia unemployment benefits.

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that the Georgia Department of Labor is ending paper checks this week. Starting Friday, recipients will have to choose between direct deposit into their checking accounts or a debit card with a Mastercard logo.

Department spokesman Sam Hall says the switch represents a more customer friendly, secure way for recipients to get their benefits. He says it’s also more efficient and a great cost saver.

About a third of the 118,000 Georgians who get the benefits still get paper checks. The department estimates it costs $19,000 a week to print and mail those checks. That’s almost $1 million a year.

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