Kansas to Start Using Debit Cards for Unemployment

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Weekly unemployment benefits checks will
become a thing of the past in Kansas.

Starting next week, the checks will be replaced with a Visa debit card issued by the state Department of Labor. Each week, the agency will reload a person's card with the amount of the unemployment benefit.

The switch to debit cards will affect about 25,000 Kansans currently receiving unemployment benefits checks in the mail. The cards can be used anywhere that Visa is accepted and on any purchase. Cardholders will be allowed one free weekly cash withdrawal.

Labor officials said the changeover will save the state about $300,000 annually in postage and paper costs and will help the environment by eliminating massive amounts of paper.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)