WASHINGTON, D.C. – As of March 1, all federal benefit check recipients must be paid electronically, either through direct deposit or the Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® card, so this month will be the final time that paper checks are mailed out. In January, the U.S. Department of the Treasury reported that 5 million checks were being mailed to federal beneficiaries each month.
Currently, approximately 93 percent of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments are being made electronically. Converting the remaining paper check recipients to electronic payments will save American taxpayers $1 billion over the next 10 years.
“Choosing direct deposit or the Direct Express® card makes it easier, safer and more convenient for beneficiaries to receive their payments. Switching to an electronic payment is not optional – it’s the law,” said David Lebryk, commissioner of the Treasury Department’s Financial Management Service. “If you or a loved one still receive paper checks for your benefit payments, now is the time to switch. It’s free and easy – just call 1-800-333-1795 or visit www.GoDirect.org.”
The Treasury Department published a final rule in December 2010 to gradually phase out paper checks for federal benefit payments. Since May 1, 2011, all people newly applying for federal benefits, including Social Security, SSI, Veterans Affairs, Railroad Retirement Board, Office of Personnel Management benefits and other non-tax payments, have had to choose direct deposit or the Direct Express® card at the time they sign up for their benefits. March 1 is the final deadline by which all remaining federal benefit check recipients must receive their money electronically.
There are no sign-up fees or monthly fees to receive benefits electronically.
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