Benefit checks switch to electronic payments

(StatePoint) The U. S. Department of the Treasury is phasing out paper federal benefit checks. Everyone who receives Social Security, Supplement Security Income (SSI) or other federal benefit payments by check is required to switch to electronic payments by March 1, 2013.

“This move will save taxpayers $1 billion over the next 10 years, while ensuring all federal benefit recipients receive their money in the safest, most reliable way possible,” says David A. Lebryk, commissioner of the Treasury Department’s Financial Management Service.

While about 90 percent of Social Security and SSI payments are being made electronically, there are still approximately 7 million checks issued to beneficiaries monthly.

Switching to electronic payments now is one simple step you can take to free up your summer days.

No more check troubles

There are lots of hassles with paper checks that can get in the way of enjoying summer.

Electronic payments eliminate monthly trips to the bank or credit union to cash or deposit checks. When your summer plans involve travel, you don’t have to worry about a check sitting unsecured in your mailbox while you’re away.

“I encourage federal benefit recipients or their caregivers to make the switch to electronic payments today,” says Lebryk. “You’ll be ensuring funds are delivered in a safe, convenient way, while saving

yourself an extra ‘to-do’ this summer.”
Two electronic options

The Treasury Department is recommending two electronic options that make receiving payments easier.

The Go Direct(R) campaign makes it fast, free and easy to switch to electronic payments online at www.GoDirect.orgor through the U. S. Treasury Electronic Payment Solution Center toll-free at 1-800-333-1795. You can choose either:

• Direct deposit to a checking or savings account. Your federal benefit payment will go straight into your account on payment day each month.

• Direct Express(R) Debit MasterCard(R) card. If you don’t have a bank account or prefer a prepaid debit card, switch to the Direct Express(R) card. There are no sign-up fees, overdraft fees or monthly fees. Some fees for optional services may apply. For information on card fees and features, visit www.GoDirect.org.

This information has been provided by the U. S. Department of the Treasury, Financial Management Service.

The Go Direct(R) campaign is sponsored by the U. S. Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve

Banks. The Direct Express(R) logo, Go Direct(R) and Direct Express(R) are registered service marks, and the Go

Direct(R) logo is a service mark, of the U. S. Department of the Treasury, Financial Management Service. The Direct

Express(R) Debit MasterCard(R) card is issued by Comerica Bank, pursuant to a license by MasterCard International

Incorporated. MasterCard(R) and the MasterCard(R) Brand Mark are registered trademarks of MasterCard International Incorporated.