Anyone receiving Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, VA, or other federal benefit payments must now get their payments electronically, according to a law passed by Congress. As a result, the Social Security administration is no longer mailing checks to beneficiaries. However, it’s easy to receive your Social Security benefit by Direct Deposit. In this post, we will walk you through how to sign up for Social Security direct deposit for your benefits.
First, we will explain why the Social Security Administration switched to electronic payments for Social Security and Disability payments.
Next, we will provide the two options available to get your benefits electronically and how to sign up for each.
Why Social Security Stopped Mailing Paper Checks
The Social Security Administration began phasing out paper checks in 2011.
Effective March 1, 2013, per a new law, any new applications for Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits must include sign-up for electronic payments.
One reason behind the decision was to save the government money, according to the U.S. General Accounting Office.
Another reason for switching to electronic payments was because it minimized risks of check theft or loss.
For example, in 2011, over 440,000 Social Security checks were reported lost or stolen and over $70 million worth of checks were fraudulently endorsed.
As a result of the electronic payment switch, the Social Security Administration now pays approximately 71.6 million (98.8%) Social Security and SSI benefits electronically per month.
However, it also still mails nearly 850,000 (1.2%) paper checks per month.
Sign up for Social Security Direct Deposit
There are two options available to sign up for electronic payment for your Social Security or other federal benefit payments.
Option 1 – If You Have a Bank or Credit Union Account
You can sign up and get your Social Security and Disability benefits Direct deposited into a checking or savings account you already have with a bank or credit union.
You can even have it direct deposited into a prepaid debit card like the Walmart MoneyCard or Bluebird Card.
Here’s how to sign up for Direct Deposit with Social Security
First, you need the following information to begin the process:
- Your Social Security number.
- Financial institution’s routing transit number.
- Account type (checking or savings).
- Account number.
Next, contact your bank to get help in signing up for direct deposit.
Alternatively, you can sign up through the Social Security Administration. Here’s how:
You may also call Go Direct (U.S Treasury Electronic Payment Solutions Center) at:
The call center hours are Monday Through Friday, from 9 am – 7 pm EST.
Please note that Go Direct is only available for beneficiaries receiving benefits by check.
You can also visit their website at https://godirect.gov to enroll your
Option 2 -If You Don’t have a Bank or Credit Union Account
If you currently do not have a bank account or are unable to get one, you can sign up for the Direct Express card to receive your Social Security benefits.
Direct Express card is a prepaid debit card you can use to access your
The good news is that you do not need a bank account to sign up for Direct Express.
How Direct Express Card Works
Each month, on your benefits deposit date, your federal payment will be sent directly into
your Direct Express card account.
Your monthly funds will be available on your payment day — on
time, every time.
You can use the Direct Express card to make purchases, pay bills, or get cash at
thousands of locations.
Also, most transactions are free, including a wide ATM network to get cash at no cost.
Additionally, with the Direct Express card, you no longer have to wait for the mail or worry
about lost or stolen checks.
How to Use the Direct Express Card
The Direct Express card is easy to use. Here are the different ways you can use the card:
You can use your debit card to make purchases anywhere Debit MasterCards are accepted.
When you make a purchase, the funds will be automatically deducted from your Direct Express card balance.
With your Direct Express Debit Card, you can get cash at ATMs, banks,
or credit unions.
Also, you have the option to get cash back with purchases at many retail locations, including cash at grocery stores, pharmacies, and supermarkets.
Furthermore, the Direct Express card can be used to pay bills.
You can set up your monthly bills for automatic payment, including deciding when and how much is paid for each bill.
This includes your utilities, phone, cable TV, and more.
Social Security Direct Deposit Summary
We hope this post on how to sign up for Social Security Direct Deposit was helpful.
For more about Direct Express Debit Card, click here: Sign Up for Direct Express Debit Card.
To see how you can get Amazon Prime at a discount, click here: 5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime Discount.
For help creating a Social Security online account, click here: How to Create a my Social Security Account.
If you have further questions about Social Security Benefits or Direct Express Card, please let us know in the comments section below.
Be sure to check out our other articles about Direct Express and Social Security, including:
Social Security Office Locations Near Me
Amazon Prime Discount for Seniors
2021 Social Security Payment Schedule
Direct Express Customer Service Live Person