South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

Soon all federal benefits will come electronically


By Patricia Thibault

Social Security District Manager in Pittsburgh, PA

Beginning March 1, with few exceptions, all federal benefits, including Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, are to be paid electronically. That’s according to a rule from the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

For years, Social Security has stressed the convenience, security, and safety of getting benefit payments electronically, offering peace of mind payments will arrive on time, even in the event of natural disasters or being away from home when the check is in the mail.

Electronic payments (direct deposit or Direct Express) are not only the best way to receive federal benefit payments — for most people, starting in March, they are the only way.

The truth is, for most people getting monthly benefits, this isn’t really a change at all. That’s because more than nine out of ten individuals who receive benefits from Social Security already receive payments electronically.

For those who receive their payments the old-fashioned way and electronic payments are new to them, here are some things they may want to know about their future payments.

Electronic payments are safer: there’s no risk of checks being lost or stolen;

Electronic payments are easy and reliable: there’s no need to wait for the mail or go to the bank to cash a check;

Electronic payments are good for the environment: they save paper and eliminate transportation costs; and finally;

Electronic payments save taxpayers money to the tune of $120 million per year: there are no costs for postage, paper, and printing; and

Electronic payments could save recipients money on check-cashing and bank fees.

 Visit to learn more about getting your Social Security and SSI payments the safe, easy, inexpensive, and green way — electronically.


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