March 06, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- In an effort to force the U.S. into the 21st century -- and to save itself billions of dollars -- the government switched all recipients of federal benefit checks to an electronic deposit system. The U.S. Treasury Department established a March 1, 2013 deadline for those who receive their government benefit checks by mail to enroll for electronic delivery of monthly checks.
Federal benefits affected
The change affects those who receive federal payments such as:
- Social Security
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Disability Insurance Benefits
(SSD or DIB)
- Veterans Affairs benefits
- Railroad Retirement Board benefits
- Office of Personnel Management benefits
- Other non-taxable federal payments
Although the Treasury Department has been trying to get everyone in the nation transferred to the electronic delivery system for years, over four million people failed to meet the deadline and the U.S. Treasury's Go Direct program
is receiving up to 45,000 calls each day from people who did not register in time. It is unknown how many thousands of residents in Oregon and Washington were affected.
Fortunately, those who failed or refused to sign up for electronic delivery will still receive paper checks for the time being but they will be contacted by mail by Treasury officials. Deposits can be set up to go directly into benefit recipients' bank accounts or onto prepaid debit cards.
The only people not affected by the push to go electronic are those who were born before May 1, 1921. Additionally, those who live in remote areas that does not offer electronic delivery options may apply for waivers.
For those who fear receiving their benefits electronically, they many want to consider that they are more likely to have problems with paper checks as compared to electronic deposits. In 2011, nearly half a million Social Security and SSI checks were reported stolen or lost, and $70 million of benefit checks were fraudulently endorsed. It is far easier to track a direct deposit than to locate a check that has been lost in the mail or stolen from someone's mailbox.
Who qualifies for federal benefits?
Other than those who receive benefits for retirement, millions of people received federal benefits due to disabilities. The basic test for the right to obtain disability benefits
is the same whether you are applying for SSI, DIB, SSD or RSDI (Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance).
If you are injured or suffer from a disabling or debilitating disorder, consult with an experienced disability benefit lawyer to find out what benefits you are qualified to receive.
Article provided by Richard A. Sly Attorney at Law
Visit us at www.richardsly.com---
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