As of March 1, government issued funds, like Social Security and Disability payments, will only be available through a debit card.
Many New Mexicans still get paper checks from the government, and the decision to switch over to electronic funds has rural residents worried.
Mary Ann Leberg a social worker from the town of El Rito in Northern New Mexico, says that people in her area are unaware of the change... and the issues, she believes, will arise.
“A lot of people in the rural areas in Northern New Mexico don’t have bank accounts. They go to the post office the first of the month, and after, they cash their check and pay their bills with postal money orders. They’ve been doing it this way for years and years.”
Leberg is also concerned that the nearest bank is 30 miles away, and gas could be more than people can afford.
According to the U.S. Treasury, people can qualify for an exemption and still receive paper checks, including those who live 50 miles or more from the nearest bank.