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The Boston Globe

Business

For many, fees cut jobless benefits

WASHINGTON — Jobless Americans are paying millions in unnecessary fees to collect unemployment benefits because of state policies encouraging them to get the money through bank-issued payment cards, according to a new report from a consumer group.

People are using the fee-heavy cards instead of getting their payments deposited directly to their bank accounts. That’s because states issue bank cards automatically, require complicated paperwork or phone calls to set up direct deposit, and fail to explain the card fees, according to a report issued Tuesday by the National Consumer Law Center, a nonprofit group that seeks to protect low-income Americans from unfair financial services products. An early copy of the report was obtained by the Associated Press.

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