Deadline Approaching For Federal Benefit Recipients To Receive Electronic Payments


March 1, 2013 deadline for electronic payments for all federal benefits


Did you know all federal benefit recipients must receive their Social Security and other federal benefit payments electronically by March 1, 2013?  If you receive a paper check for federal benefits, including Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Veterans Affairs, Railroad Retirement Board or Office of Personnel Management benefits, you have until March 1, 2013 to sign up to have your check directly deposited to your bank account. People who do not choose an electronic payment option by March 1, 2013 will receive their payments via the Direct Express® card (see below for more info) so they will not experience any interruption in payment. However, anyone born before March 1, 1921 and still getting a paper check as of February 28, 2013 may choose to continue getting paper checks.

No Bank Account?

What do you do if you don't have a bank account or don't want to have your check directly deposited into your bank account?   The U.S. Department of the Treasury now has a prepaid debit card for Social Security payments and other federal benefits. This prepaid debit card is called Direct Express® and it provides a safe, low-cost alternative to using check cashing facilities and carrying large amounts of cash. Unlike other prepaid debit cards, the Direct Express® card offers cardholders free access to their money. There is no sign-up fee, and no bank account or credit check is required to enroll. Cardholders can make purchases, pay bills and get cash at thousands of ATMs and retail locations.


How do I Make the Switch to Electronic Payments?
Federal benefit recipients can switch to electronic payments online at or through the U.S. Treasury Electronic Payment Solution Center toll-free at 1-800-333-1795. People may sign up for the Direct Express card by calling toll-free 1-877-212-9991 or visiting Check recipients should have the following information on hand when making the switch to an electronic payment option, including the Direct Express® card: Social Security number or claim number; 12-digit federal benefit check number; amount of most recent federal benefit check. If signing up for direct deposit to an existing financial institution account, individuals will also need: Financial institution's routing transit number - often available on a personal check; Account number and type (checking or saving).


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