Social Security benefits going paperless in 2013

September 5, 2012

Natural disasters, such as Hurricanes Katrina and Isaac, show the fragility of the paper check system. After Katrina, tens of thousands of emergency payments had to be issued due to lost, delayed, or destroyed checks. Paper checks and the postage to send them also cost taxpayers thousands of dollars every month.

Beginning March 1, 2013, all federal benefits will be paid electronically through direct deposit to a bank account or to a Direct Express Debit Master Card, reports The Dispatch.

A family resources management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service said, “Consumers receiving paper Social Security checks should make the switch before January to ensure a smooth enrollment process.”

The Go Direct campaign director said that getting money electronically is safer, easier, and more reliable than paper checks.

“In 2011, more than 440,000 Social Security and Supplemental Security Income checks were reported lost or stolen. Electronic payments are sent straight from the Treasury Department to a bank or credit union account on payment day,” the campaign director said. “There’s no need to wait for the mail to arrive or to make a special trip to cash or deposit a check. With electronic payments, money is on time, every time, no matter what nature brings.”

It is estimated that switching to electronic payments will save taxpayers $1 billion during the next 10 years.

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

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