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Debit Card Replaces Paper Checks for DC Grandparent Caregiver Subsidy

Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Gains Include Reliability, Security, Convenience

Washington, DC—Beginning in June 2013, participants in the District’s Grandparent Caregiver Program will receive their monthly payment via plastic, not paper. To increase security and timeliness of GCP payments, the Government of the District of Columbia is replacing paper subsidy checks that came through the mail with a personalized Visa® prepaid debit card that loads when the city deposits funds in the cardholder’s account.

Launched in 2006, the Grandparent Caregiver Program provides a monthly financial subsidy to eligible low-income District residents raising their grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-nieces, or great nephews. The DC Child and Family Services Agency administers the program, which currently serves 429 households with 658 children.

With the switch from paper to plastic, Grandparent Caregiver Program participants will gain advantages such as:

  • Immediate access to funds on the same payment date every month. This eliminates watching for the mail or waiting in line to cash or deposit a check.
  • Security through a Personal Identification Number (PIN). If the card is lost or stolen, it is protected against unauthorized use.
  • Ability to make purchases anywhere Visa® cards are accepted and to withdraw cash at ATMs or Visa® member banks.
  • Capability to manage their account and track spending 24 hours a day by phone or on line.

"The point of the Grandparent Caregiver Program is to support older residents who have stepped up to raise kids in their family," said CFSA Director Brenda Donald. "With the prepaid debit card, their monthly payment remains reliable while being more secure and convenient than a paper check."

Media Contact: Mindy Good, (202) 442-6180