Report: Jobless Pay Needless Fees Through Bank-Issued Payment Cards
Lakeland Ledger (Florida)
January 28, 2013
Unemployed Americans are paying millions in unnecessary fees to access their unemployment benefits via bank-issued payment cards, according to a new report from the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC). Instead of getting unemployment payments via direct deposit, many state policies encourage people to use fee-heavy cards. The report says that states issue the bank cards automatically -- without explaining the associated fees -- but require complicated paperwork or phone calls to establish direct deposit, even though most of the subsidy beneficiaries already have established bank accounts. Many banks switched from paper checks to card programs to save on the costs of printing and mailing checks. Consumer advocates, such as the NCLC, are focused on ensuring consumer access to direct deposit so that card fees can be avoided.
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