If you currently receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits, you are probably aware that there is a new law that requires that all federal benefits must be paid electronically. This means that the days of getting your Social Security check in the mail are over. The new law was implemented by the United States Department of the Treasury on March 1, 2013. You can watch the video below, which explains the reasons behind the switch. We have provided 3 options below about how you can comply with the requirements of the law.
How To Comply with Social Security Direct Deposit Requirement
As a benefits recipient, you have 3 ways to switch and receive your benefit payments electronically as required by the law:
Option 1 - Social Security Direct Deposit
If you currently have a checking or savings account with a bank or credit union, then you can chose this option. You will have to fill out the Direct Deposit Sign Up Form. When you are done, you can take it to your local Social Security Office or you can mail it in. Click here to download the pdf form. To read and print the form, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader software installed on your computer.
Here are some other ways to sign up for Direct Deposit:
1. You can also call or visit your bank or credit union to enroll in direct deposit.
2. You can also enroll in direct deposit by calling the U.S. Department of Treasury at 1-800-333-1795.
3. You can also visit your local Social Security office or call them for assistance. To find your local office, click here.
4. You can also call Social Security Administration directly for help. Here is their information and hours of operations - 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Option 2 – Direct Express Debit Card
Your second option to comply with the law is to apply for the Direct Express Debit MasterCard, which is a prepaid debit card that is recommended by US Treasury Department as an alternative to getting direct deposit via your bank.Your benefits will be deposited onto the card just like the bank direct deposit and you will get a prepaid debit card that you can use to make purchases, shop online, get cash at ATMs and more. Apply for Direct Express Debit Card.
Option 3 -Electronic Transfer Account
If you want your benefits deposited into a bank account but cannot afford the fees that come with a traditional bank account, then you may choose and apply for the Electronic Transfer Account (ETA), which is a special form of bank account designed by the United States Department of the Treasury for Federal benefit payment recipients. To apply for an ETA account, you have to 1) Find a provider 2) Contact the provider to open an account 3) Sign up for Direct Deposit. To learn more about the ETA account including finding a provider to open an account, click here.
NOTE: If you are currently receiving paper checks for your benefits, you are out of compliance with the law and must select one of the 3 options outlined above to get your benefits electronically. Otherwise, the Treasury Department will contact you about complying with the law.