No more checks in the mail!

Staring next year by March 2013, checks will no longer be issued and mailed to the millions of people who receive government benefits, reports This action is mandated by a Treasury rule issued in December 2010, which affecting people who get Social Security and federal disability payments.

To save the government about $120 million a year, the federal government is phasing out its paper checks for all benefits programs and requiring people to get payments electronically. As a recipient, you can either get your benefits by direct deposit or on a debit card for those who don’t have bank accounts.

Walt Henderson, director of the Treasury Department’s electronic funds transfer division, says that electronic payments are safer and more efficient than paper checks, “You think of that paper check floating out there in the delivery system, with personal information on it, it’s much more susceptible to fraud versus an electronic payment.”

“Treasury acknowledges they have a lot of education to do for people about how these things work,” said David Certner, legislative policy director for AARP.

If using a debit card would impose a hardship, people can get a waiver, but the Treasury Department says those would be “extreme, rare circumstances.” Current beneficiaries who are age 90 and older will not be required to make the switch to electronic funds.

Read more.

If you or someone you know needs help with Social Security Disability benefits, contact the Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.

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