Social Security Going Paperless in March
Published February 20th, 2013
GAINESVILLE- If you or someone you know is among the more than 4 million Americans who still receive Social Security and other federal benefit checks in the mail… there's a big change starting next month.
Social Security and other federal benefits checks will be going from door to door to... going paperless.
"I get mine directly to my bank account through direct deposit," said Manny Lucoff, a Gainesville resident.
Lucoff is one Gainesville resident who already has his Social Security funds directly deposited.
"Which I like very much," Lucoff said.
Lucoff won't be affected by the payment law that will go into affect March 1st but says this is a positive move for our country.
"The more people that use that feature of direct deposit, it avoids more of the possibilities of fraud and theft," said Lucoff.
For the past eight years, the Department of Treasury has been trying to get federal beneficiaries to make the swtich from paper to digital.
This is part of a national campaign called "Go Direct."
"Go Direct campaign is the national public education campaign, informing any one that currently receives a paper check for a federal such as social security or veterans benefits that they have to convert to direct deposit or our direct express card by march 1, 2013," said Walt Hendrick, Director of Go Direct Campaign.
So by the first of next month you either need to have your direct deposit set up or sign up for a new prepaid debit card.
While some feel this is a way to avoid fraud and theft...Henderson says this will save money.
"We estimate if we are able to eliminate all remaining paper checks we can save tax payers a billion dollars over 10 years," Henderson said.
Lucoff likes that and… how much easier it is to pay the bills.
"And out of that, it's easier to pay ones bills, directly the same way…electronically," Lucoff said.
Anyone who doesn't convert by March 1st will be contacted by mail.
You can either call 1-800-333-1795 or visit your bank to switch over to direct deposit.
Now, there's nothing for you to worry about if you applied for a federal benefit after May 2011…by that time you had to choose direct deposit or the direct express card.
For more information go to www.godirect.org
Some video clips courtesy of Go Direct Campaign.
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