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California Following the Direction of Social Security With Putting Disability Payment Benefits On Debit Cards Starting in March,

Posted Feb 08 2011 2:08am

Back in 2008 Social Security began offering a debit card and now the state of California is doing the same for disability and checks will no longer be issued. Paid-family-leave insurance customers are also included and the next step for the state will be for unemployment benefits which has a target date in June of this year.  image

The program doesn’t cost the state anything with Bank of America covering it’s costs by charging fees to participating merchants that honor the cards.  The savings is slated to be around $4 million a year on printing, paper and postage.  BD

Checks are no longer in the mail for about 10,000 Californians a day who are getting new state-issued Visa debit cards to access disability benefits.

The California Employment Development Department expects to have the cards in the hands of 400,000 people by March. The cards will give recipients faster, more secure access to their cash at Bank of America network ATMs.

The switch enables recipients to have their benefits directly deposited into bank accounts and to avoid check-cashing fees. There also are no fees charged for using network ATMs and for making up to two transactions weekly with out-of-network machines.

"Once we get all of our disability and paid-family-leave insurance customers switched over to the more convenient debit cards, we will work to transition the much larger unemployment insurance program in June," EDD Chief Deputy Director Pam Harris said.

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