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U.S. Treasury Requires Federal Benefits to be Paid Electronically


As of March 1, 2013, the U.S. Department of the Treasury requires all federal benefit and non-tax payments to be made electronically. Federal benefit recipients currently getting their benefit by paper checks are out of compliance with the law and must switch to an electronic payment option. People applying for federal benefit payments must choose an electronic payment option – direct deposit to a bank or credit union account or a Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® card – from the beginning.

All-electronic federal benefit payments provide significant savings to American taxpayers who no longer incur the price tag associated with paper checks. In addition, electronic payments are safer, easier and more convenient for benefit recipients.

The all-electronic federal benefits rule applies to the federal benefit payments issued by following agencies:

  • Social Security Administration, including:
    • Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments
  • Veterans Affairs (VA)
  • Railroad Retirement Board
  • Office of Personnel Management
  • Department of Labor (Black Lung)

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