Rep. Grimm Advises Seniors and Veterans of Important Changes to Federal Benefits Payments

Feb 25, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R,C-S.I./Brooklyn) advises those receiving social security, veterans, or other federal payment by paper check, that they must change payments by March 1, 2013 to either direct deposit or a Direct Express debit card. Rep. Grimm has been working to actively reach out to seniors and other benefit recipients in his district to alert them of changes, and his district staff remains ready to assist.

“Beginning on March 1st, the federal government will be switching to a direct deposit system for payments to social security, veterans, and other benefits,” said Grimm. “This change will allow the U.S. government to save money, as well as cutback on lost or stolen checks. My office has been actively reaching out to seniors and veterans to alert them of the change, and remains readily available to answer questions or assist with the process.”

Since 2005, the federal government has worked with seniors and other federal payment recipients to transition to electronic payments.  One reason for this change is to save taxpayer dollars - paper checks costs taxpayers $1 billion over 10 years.  In addition to reducing program costs, electronic payments are also more secure.  In 2011, there were over 440,000 lost or stolen Social Security paper checks with more than $70 million fraudulently endorsed. 

Resources for More Information on Payment Options:

March 1, 2013 Deadline: Any person who receives a federal payment by paper check must change their payment method to either direct deposit or a Direct Express debit card by March 1, 2013.

Who Has to Make These Changes: This change applies to all federal payments made by paper check from Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Veterans Affairs, Black Lung Fund, Railroad Retirement Board, and the Office of Personal and Management.

What If I don’t Change My Payment Method: If you do not transfer your paper check to an electronic payment by March 1, you may be issued a Direct Express debit card. 

More Information on Direct Deposit: If you would like to sign up for direct deposit, or for more information, visit www.GoDirect.org, call the U.S. Treasury Electronic Payment Solution Center at (800) 333-1795, or visit your local bank or credit union. You will need to know your account type (savings or checking), account number, and the financial institution’s routing number.

More Information on Direct Express Debit Card: If you do not have a bank account or if you would like to sign up for a Direct Express debit card, visit www.GoDirect.org, call the U.S. Treasury Electronic Payment Solution Center at (800) 333-1795, or contact your local office of the agency providing the federal benefit.

Rep. Grimm’s Staten Island Office:  265 New Dorp Lane; 718-351-1062.
Rep. Grimm’s Brooklyn Office:  7308 13th Avenue; 718-630-5277.

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