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TheStreet Open House

Tennessee's Federal Benefit Check Recipients Must Act Now To Comply With U.S. Treasury's Electronic Payment Rule





WASHINGTON, Feb. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With less than two weeks remaining until the March 1, 2013, deadline for all federal benefits to be paid electronically, the U.S. Department of the Treasury reports that Tennessee seniors and other Social Security recipients are still receiving nearly 101,000 paper checks each month.

"If you or a loved one haven't yet made the switch, please take note of this new law and sign up for electronic payments today," said David Lebryk, commissioner of the Treasury Department's Financial Management Service. "Our friendly, knowledgeable call center agents are available to answer questions and assist seniors and others with the switch to direct deposit or the Direct Express ® card."

Use of electronic payments is widespread

In Tennessee today, more than 1.4 million monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments are already made via direct deposit to a bank or credit union account, or to the Direct Express ® Debit MasterCard ® card. The card allows federal benefit recipients to pay bills, withdraw cash and make purchases without paying check-cashing fees. The money on the Direct Express ® card is FDIC-insured, and many card services are free.

"By switching to direct deposit or the Direct Express ® card, you will receive your money in a safer, easier and more reliable way. With electronic payments, your check can't be stolen out of your mailbox, and you don't need to go to the bank or credit union to deposit or cash your check every month. It's in your account on time, every time," Lebryk said. "Plus, by making the switch, you will help save American taxpayers $1 billion over 10 years."

The Treasury Department's Go Direct ® public education campaign is working with more than 1,800 partner organizations throughout the country to spread the message about the electronic payment rule and educate federal benefit recipients about their options. The Treasury Department encourages beneficiaries who have questions about electronic payments to visit www.GoDirect.org to view several educational videos and print materials that explain how electronic payments work and how to use the Direct Express ® card.

Making the switch is easy



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