Electronic payments start March 1

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To the editor:
This letter is for people who receive their Social Security, VA or other federal benefit payments by paper check.
Beginning March 1, the Treasury Department is requiring all Social Security, SSI, VA and other federal beneficiaries to receive benefits by electronic payment.
Senior citizens and other federal beneficiaries may choose to receive payments by direct deposit (an electronic payment to a bank account) or by a Treasury-developed Direct Express debit card.
The electronic payment method is not optional—it is the law. Switching to electronic payments is a win-win for everyone. Besides saving the government and taxpayers money (about $100 million each year), switching to electronic payments provides a safer, more reliable and more convenient way for people to receive federal benefits.
Individuals who need assistance converting to electronic payment can call Treasury’s Go Direct Call Center at (800) 333-1795. When calling, be ready to provide your financial institution’s routing transit number and your bank account number, both of which can be found on your bank check.
Don’t wait until the last minute to make this important change. Call now and make the switch to electronic payment for your federal benefits.
Ken Papaj
Commissioner Financial
Management Services, retired
Holden Beach