The U.S. Department of the Treasury (the Treasury) began the switch to electronic benefits almost two years ago and is nearing its completion as of March 31, 2013. The Treasury currently requires all new federal benefit and non-tax payments to be made electronically. (Non-tax payments include federal wage, retirement, and vendor payments.) The Treasury recommends direct deposit to a credit union or bank account or to a Direct Express® card account. People who do not choose an electronic payment option by March 1, 2013, or at the time they apply for benefits, will receive their federal benefit payments via the Direct Express® card, so they will not experience any interruption in payment. People who already receive benefit payments electronically do not need to take action. They will continue to receive their payment as usual on the payment day.
These changes apply to federal benefit payments from the following federal benefit agencies:
• Social Security Administration, including:
o Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments
• Veterans Affairs (VA)
• Railroad Retirement Board
• Office of Personnel Management
• Department of Labor (Black Lung)
Credit unions have been kept up to date on this important change through the Treasury’s Go Direct Campaign which is aimed at informing consumers about the changes. The Treasury has provided a number of resources for credit unions to use in aiding the communications process on their website. Visit http://www.godirect.org/partners/.