Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Federal Benefits Paid Electronically or by Debit Card

The Treasury Department now requires all future federal benefits, including Social Security and VA, to be paid electronically.

If you already receive electronic federal benefit payments, there is nothing further you need to do. You will continue to receive your benefit payments on your payment date as previously scheduled.

However, if you presently receive a federal benefit by way of a paper check, you will have only until March 1, 2013, to switch to an electronic payment option - meaning your benefit payments will be made by an electronic direct deposit to your designated bank account.

But what if you don’t have a bank account, or you don’t make a timely designation of your preferred account? In that event, effective March 1, 2013, you will receive your benefit payments via a Direct Express Debit MasterCard© card. Direct Express© is a pre-paid debit card. Your benefit payments will simply be credited to your debit card on your payment day each month. There will be no sign-up fees and no monthly service fees. However, if you sign up for elective optional services, these additional services will be subject to monthly service charges.

If you now wish to convert your paper checks to electronic direct deposits to your bank account, you may:

• Call the US Treasury Processing Center at (800) 333-1795

• Sign up on-line at www.GoDirect.org

• Visit your bank or credit union. Most financial institutions can now initiate your direct deposit agreement with the Treasury Department


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