Belleville, IL (PRWEB) February 08, 2013
Effective March 1, 2013, the U.S. Department of the Treasury will stop mailing paper checks to anyone receiving Social Security, Veterans Affairs or other federal benefits, according to Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance(SSDI) representation, veterans disability and Medicare plan selection services.
The move, which is part of the Treasury Department’s initiative to phase out paper checks, affects not only seniors and veterans, but also those receiving Social Security disability benefits. “Individuals still receiving federal benefits by check are required by law to switch to the electronic payment option of their choice—direct deposit into a traditional bank or credit union account or deposit onto a payment card, such as a debit card,” said Tricia Blazier, personal financial planning manager at Allsup.
The Treasury Department estimated electronic benefits payments would save the federal government $1 billion in 10 years. Most federal beneficiaries already receive funds electronically.
“Since May 1, 2011, anyone new to SSDI or other federal benefits was required to receive benefits electronically—but anyone receiving benefits prior to that date still had the option to receive paper checks. However, they must go electronic by March 1,” Blazier explained.
Individuals can change their benefits payment method in a couple of ways, including:
Those who receive benefits by check and don’t do anything to switch to a personal account will automatically begin receiving benefits through the Direct Express® debit card, offered by the Treasury Department.
Electronic payment provides individuals with access to their benefits on the same day they are paid. “For example, if you usually receive your SSDI benefit on the fifth of the month, then your money would be available at the business opening of that day,” Blazier explained. “Electronic payments are a quick and easy way to receive SSDI and other federal benefits in a safe and reliable manner.”
Representative payees, or individuals who receive a check on behalf of someone else, also must comply with the switch to electronic payment. Find more details on http://www.GoDirect.org. Anyone caring for someone who receives paper checks should contact their bank, credit union or savings and loan provider for details on switching to electronic payment. Those already receiving federal benefit payments electronically will not be affected.
SSDI is a federally mandated disability insurance program overseen by the SSA that operates separately from the retirement and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. SSDI provides monthly benefits to people under full retirement age (age 65 or older) who can no longer work because of a severe disability that is expected to last 12 months or more, or is terminal. Individuals pay for this federal insurance program through their FICA taxes.
For more information about Social Security disability benefits, contact Allsup’s Disability Evaluation Center at (800) 678-3276.
Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Founded in 1984, Allsup employs more than 800 professionals who deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. The company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. Visit http://www.Allsup.com or connect with Allsup at http://www.facebook.com/Allsupinc.