Do you or someone you know receive Social Security, veteran’s benefits, railroad pensions or federal disability payments via snail mail? By March 1, 2013 those benefits will be issued electronically – either through direct deposit at a bank or credit union account or a debit card (for those without a bank account). You may have seen the article detailing this change in today’s Post & Courier. Here are the details:
- According to the Treasury Department, about 90 percent of people who receive federal benefits already get their payments electronically.
- Electronic payments are safer and more efficient than paper checks. In 2010, more than 540,000 federal benefit checks were reported lost or stolen.
- Beneficiaries who are age 90 or older won’t be required to make the change. Others can apply for a hardship waiver but they will be granted only in “extreme, rare circumstances.”
This campaign, called Go Direct, has been involved with financial literacy efforts across the country, including:
- The Bank On Program
- FDIC Alliance for Economic Inclusion
- FDIC Money Smart Curriculum
- Money Smart Week
Here at South Carolina Federal, we’ve also been moving in the more secure direction of online and electronic services. You may recall Kevin’s blog post on this subject in December and our latest news of the new mobile apps. As Kevin mentioned, with the changes at the United States Postal Service combined with our need for speed and the number of people now using their mobile and electronic devices to access instant information from anywhere, it seems like snail mail, incluing checks are a thing of the past. What do you think?