AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Department of Labor is doing away with paper unemployment checks.
The department said Tuesday it has begun the transition from paper checks to debit cards for all unemployment recipients who don’t receive their funds through direct deposit to their bank accounts.
Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman said debit cards and direct deposit are safer and more secure than paper checks. The new debit cards can be used to withdraw funds at ATMs, banks and retail locations.
About 15,000 Mainers now get unemployment, but only 40 percent of them will receive the debit cards because the remaining 60 percent have direct deposit.