Child Support

West Virginia child support checks will soon be replaced with direct deposits or a debit card system.

Members of the joint Legislative Oversight Commission on Health and Human Resources were told Thursday during an interim session in Charleston that state officials expect to save $500,000 a year in check processing, mailing and related costs.

The state Bureau of Child Support Enforcement routes payments to about 130,000 families.

In January, these families must choose between direct deposit and the Visa-branded debit cards. The new system begins in February.

The cards will be issued through BB&T Corporation and will be accepted at its 83 branches and 198 automated teller machines as well as any business that accepts Visa.

But the cards also carry fees. They include a $1.25 charge for any third or subsequent cash withdrawal per month, and $7.50 for replacing a card.