By Michael P. Neufeld
After that date, the Social Security Administration will stop printing and sending paper checks for Social Security, disability and other benefits. The action is designed to cut costs as the agency will distribute funds electronically, either via direct deposit or on a prepaid “Direct Express” card.
Currently, 93 percent — roughly 65 million — federal benefit recipients receive their payments electronically, but the Department of Treasury reports some five (5) million checks are still being printed and mailed each month. The agency spends about $4.6 million per month to produce, print and mail paper checks.
The agency emphasizes that unlike paper checks that can be lost o0r stolen, electronic payments can be easily traced and quickly restored in the rare instance of fraud.
Despite the extensive media campaign to inform federal benefit recipients of the switch, there are some exceptions to the paperless mandate. For example, individuals who are 91 or older can still receive checks by mail.
In addition, individuals who ignore or miss the mandatory March 1 deadline won’t face penalties or be cut off.
“We will be communicating with them in a more direct way via letter,” GoDirect campaign manager Walt Henderson stated in a press release. “We can’t stop sending the payments. They depend on them.”
Saturday 03/28 0%
Sunny. High around 70F. Winds SW at 10 to 20 mph.
Sunday 03/29 0%
Intervals of clouds and sunshine. High 69F. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph.
Monday 03/30 0%
Sunny. High 69F. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph.
Tuesday 03/31 0%
Mostly sunny skies. Becoming windy during the afternoon. High 66F. Winds SW at 20 to 30 mph.
Wednesday 04/01 0%
Sunny skies. High 64F. Winds WNW at 10 to 20 mph.
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