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May 04 2011

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U.S. Treasury to “Retire” paper check

The U.S. Department of the Treasury is retiring the paper Social Security check for millions of baby boomers and others applying for federal benefits, a move that will save taxpayers $1 billion over the next 10 years.
Beginning May 1, 2011, anyone newly applying for Social Security, Veterans Affairs or other federal benefits will need to choose an electronic payment method – paper checks will no longer be an option. People currently receiving their federal benefits by paper check must switch to direct deposit by March 1, 2013.
“More than 18 million baby boomers are expected to reach retirement age during the next five years, with 10,000 people a day becoming eligible for Social Security benefits,” said Treasurer Rios. “It costs 92 cents more to issue a payment by paper check than by direct deposit. We are retiring the Social Security paper check option in favor of electronic payments because it is the right thing to do for benefit recipients and American taxpayers alike.”
People who prefer receiving their payments on a prepaid debit card or who do not have an account at a financial institution can receive a Direct Express Debit MasterCard card. For more information, visit www.GoDirect.org.

March 1, 2013:  Current check recipients must switch to electronic payments before March 1, 2013. Switching from checks to direct deposit is fast, easy and free at www.GoDirect.org, by calling the U.S. Treasury Electronic Payment Solution Center’s toll-free helpline at 1-800-333-1795, or by speaking with a bank or credit union representative.

Anyone already receiving federal benefit payments electronically will continue to receive their money as usual on their payment day. No action is required.

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