The U.S. Department of Treasury had ruled to gradually phase out paper checks for federal benefit payments in December 2010. People newly applying to receive federal benefits had to select to receive their benefits electronically. March 1, 2013 is the final deadline for all remaining federal check recipients to receive their benefits electronically. The Treasury Department reported that 5 million checks continue to be mailed. The switch from paper checks will save American taxpayers $1 billion over the next 10 years.
Beneficiaries will need to have the following in order to switch to electronic payments:
• Social Security number,
• 12-digit benefit check number (located on the upper right hand corner of the check),
• amount of the beneficiaries most recent check,
• bank routing number and
• bank account number.
Beneficiaries will have the option of choosing between having their money direct deposited into their bank account or deposited onto a Direct Express debit MasterCard.
"If you or a loved one still receives paper checks for your benefit payments, now is the time to switch. It's free and easy - just call 1-800-333-1795 or visit www.GoDirect.org," said David Lebryk, commissioner of the Treasury Department's Financial Management Service.