Federal Benefit Payments Are Going All-Electronic
The U.S. Department of the Treasury is phasing out paper checks for federal benefit payments. Monthly benefit payments will instead be made electronically. This means that anyone who currently receives a federal benefit check must switch to an electronic payment method by March 1, 2013.
As a trusted source of financial information for low-income and older taxpayers, your organization is in the perfect position to share information about this change to the way federal benefits are being paid and urge people to switch now rather than wait for the deadline. By participating in this important initiative you can:
- Ensure federal benefit check recipients experience a smooth transition to safer, easier electronic payments
- Strengthen your commitment to the people you serve
- Save taxpayer dollars
Two Treasury-Recommended Options
The Treasury Department’s Go Direct® public education campaign provides free materials – such as fliers and posters – that can be displayed and distributed at VITA and TCE sites nationwide. Campaign materials educate people about the fast, easy ways they can sign up for one of the two electronic payment methods recommended by the Treasury Department:
- Direct deposit. People with a bank or credit union account can sign up to receive their money by direct deposit to their checking or savings account.
- Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® card. People who prefer a prepaid debit card can sign up for the Direct Express® card, even if they don’t have a bank account. Cardholders can make purchases, pay bills and get cash. For information on card fees and features, visit http://www.GoDirect.org.
To switch to direct deposit or the Direct Express® card, people can contact their federal benefit agency office, visit http://www.GoDirect.org or call the U.S. Treasury Electronic Payment Solution Center at (800) 333-1795 Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time. For direct deposit, people can also make the switch at their local financial institution.
To learn more about the Treasury Department’s Go Direct campaign or to order free materials, visit http://www.GoDirect.org.
By Dan Fair, Manager of Communications & Member Relations