Federal Benefits Checks Now Arrive Via Electronic Deposit
White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) March 19, 2013 - The Treasury Department is asking that all federal benefit recipients opt-in to receive their benefits electronically.
Two years ago, the Treasury Department initiated a “green” campaign, urging people who receive federal benefits such as Social Security, Veterans Affairs, and Social Supplemental income in check form, to accept direct deposit instead. Officials estimated that they were sending out close to 11 million checks per month.
The campaign included sending notices along with monthly checks inviting people to use direct deposit and releasing public service announcements and reminders via the AARP, banks, and senior centers. The Treasury Department now reports that since the campaign started, the request for direct deposit has lessened the number of checks to five million each month, and 93 percent of people getting federal benefits do so via electronic payments.
The federal government is now pushing for that last seven percent of individuals who receive checks via U.S. postal service to make the switch. By switching from those last 5 million paper checks to direct deposit or debit card deposit, the Treasury Department estimates that it can save as much as $1 billion during the next ten years.
For those individuals who do not want the money directly deposited into their bank account, or do not have a bank account, the money can be sent directly to the person's Direct Express debit card, which is accepted wherever MasterCard is used.
While there is no consensus on why everyone has not made the switch to electronic deposit, and the assumption is that some federal benefits recipients may be concerned that a direct debit card deposit is not as safe as a paper check; they may worry that their account may be hacked. However, it is paper checks which have proved to be somewhat unreliable; the Treasury Department reported more than 440,000 complaints of lost or stolen paper benefits checks in 2011.
Though the Treasury Department has stated that sticking with paper payments is not an option, they do not plan to cancel the benefits of anyone who refuses to use an electronic deposit system. The department is planning to send out reminder letters, requesting that they switch.
For any individual who wishes to switch to direct deposit or debit card, they can speak to their bank, their local Social Security office, call (800) 333-1795, or sign up online at www.GoDirect.org.
About Littman Krooks
Littman Krooks LLP provides sophisticated legal advice and the high level of expertise ordinarily associated with large law firms along with the personal attention and responsiveness of smaller firms. These ingredients, which are the cornerstone of effective representation and necessary to a successful lawyer/client relationship, have become the foundation of the firm’s success.
Littman Krooks LLP offers legal services in several areas of law, including elder law, estate planning, special needs planning, special education advocacy, and corporate and securities. Their offices are located at 399 Knollwood Road, White Plains, New York; 655 Third Avenue, New York, New York; and 300 Westage Business Center Drive, Fishkill, New York. For more information about Littman Krooks LLP, visit the website at: www.littmankrooks.com.
New York Contact:
Maria M. Brill
Littman Krooks LLP
New York City Office
655 Third Avenue, 20th Floor
New York, New York 10017
(212) 490-2020 Phone
399 Knollwood Road
White Plains, New York 10603
(914) 684-2100 Phone
300 Westage Business Center Drive, Suite 400
Fishkill, NY 12524
(845) 896-1106 Phone
View Larger Map
- Comparing Different Options in Life Insurance
Certain forms of life insurance can be used as an investment and estate planning tool as well. Understanding the different options, term life insurance and permanent life insurance, can help to protect your family’s economic security in the event of an unexpected death. Term life insurance Term life insurance is pure risk protection, and it […]
- The Cost of Aging in America
Our guest blogger this week is Emily Newhook, the community relations manager for the online master of public health (MPH@GW) offered through the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University. She lives in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyNewhook. In 2010, there were 40.3 million Americans ages 65 and older — 12 times the number […]
- Estate Planning Changes for 2015
By Erica Fitzgerald, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (“ATRA”), enacted in January 2013, made changes to the laws governing Federal estate and gift taxes. Specifically, the Federal estate and gift tax exemption amount was set at $5,000,000, and provides for annual increases to account for inflation. As a result, […]
See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: new york elder law, new york elder law attorney, new york estate planning, new york estate planning lawyer, new york special needs, new york special needs attorney, new york special needs lawyer