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Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - 2:55am

Unemployment Paper Checks End This Week

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

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 said the switch represents a more customer-friendly, secure way for recipients to get their benefits. He said 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.