SC to pay unemployment benefits electronically

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina agency responsible for paying unemployment benefits is eliminating paper checks as a way to save recipients and the state money.

The state Employment and Workforce Department said in a news release Friday that out-of-work residents can get their benefits in either a prepaid debit card or as an electronic transfer to a bank account.

The agency estimates it will save $4 million a year by not processing and mailing checks. The agency said recipients without regular checking or savings accounts who choose the debit card option will save money on check cashing charges.

The agency has been testing the program for the past month and will roll it out statewide on Monday. The agency hopes to deliver all benefits electronically by Oct. 1.

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