Reminder: Social Security is benefits are going electronic.
Not only can you apply for benefits and get all the update information at www.socialsecurity.gov but they are also requiring that everyone receive their benefits through direct deposit. All new applicants will have to choose direct deposit, however if you currently receive a check in the mail you have until March 1, 2013 to make the switch. But why wait?
The Federal Government wants everyone who receives benefits to get them electronically through direct deposit, why not check out how to do it and save yourself from last minute hassle of doing it in 2013. You have two choices when switching to direct deposit. You can chose to have your benefits transferred directly into your bank account each month or you can apply for the Direct Express¬Æpre-paid debit card and your monthly benefit will be applied to that card.
With direct deposit, the U.S. Treasury sends an electronic message to your bank or credit union crediting your account with the exact amount of your benefit. The difference is, your check isn‚Äôt printed or mailed.¬† You can have your benefits transferred into your checking or savings account.
No bank account or credit check is required for the Direct Express¬Æ card, prepaid debit card. The Direct Express¬Æ card gives you the advantages of direct deposit without requiring a bank account. Your money goes straight into the Direct Express¬Æ card account on payment day each month. There‚Äôs no need to wait for the mail to arrive or to make a special trip to cash a check. There‚Äôs no risk of lost or stolen checks and your money is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) up to the maximum allowed by law. Use your card to make everyday purchases everywhere Debit MasterCard¬Æ is accepted. You can make purchases, pay bills, buy money orders and get cash at thousands of locations nationwide. You can use your card 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are no sign-up, monthly account or overdraft fees. There are many free services such as cash withdrawals, low balance alerts and notification of deposits by phone, email or text.
Some people may ask, why do I have to do this? The Federal Government is trying to save money and make the process of receiving your benefits easy. Some people have asked if that means they have to do all their banking online such as paying bills electronically. The fact is the change to the way federal benefits are being paid only affects how you get your money. How you pay bills or buy things ‚Äì by check, cash or electronically is up to you. There is also concern about whether electronic payments sent over a computer are safe. ¬†The U.S. Department of the Treasury sends your money in a safe way to your bank or credit union account or the Direct Express¬Æ card account. Your personal information is not sent over the Internet.
If you have a bank or credit union account and want to sign up for direct deposit go to https://www.godirect.gov/gpw/index.gd, or call(800) 333-1795, or visit your local bank/credit union branch or federal benefit agency office.
If you prefer a prepaid debit card or don‚Äôt have a bank account, you can enroll in the Direct Express pre paid debit card at http://www.usdirectexpress.com/edcfdtclient/index.html or call (800) 333-1795, or notify your local federal benefit agency.
Everyone has to make the switch, if you are applying soon for Social Security then you‚Äôll have to do it at the time you apply, if you are receiving a check for Social Security then you have until March 1, 2013 to make the switch, but whether you do it tomorrow or February 28, 2013, you have to do it. This is true of all Federal benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income, Veterans Affairs, and Railroad Retirement Board.
For more information visit www.godirect.org or call 800-333-1795.