Federal Benefit Disbursements Go Electronic on March 1
Thursday, February 7, 2013 • 10:19pm
Department of Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez today reminded New Jersey residents who receive federal benefits such as Social Security, SSI, VA Compensation and Pension payments that they have just 28 days to switch from paper checks to electronic payments under the US Department of Treasury’s GoDirect program. Recipients must decide whether their benefits will be deposited directly into a bank account or onto a pre-paid debit card.
“For many people, moving to electronic payment of federal benefits is a shift that will take time to get used to,” said Commissioner Velez. “But, it’s important that they - and their caregivers - are aware and follow the directions on how to choose a method of payment in order to avoid confusion in the months to come.”
According to the GoDirect website there still are about 5 million hard copy checks being mailed monthly to benefit recipients, so the US Treasury is moving to electronic benefits because it is safer, more convenient and saves money. There is more reliability in electronic benefits delivery and individuals will not have to visit a bank to access their funds – an important factor for seniors and people with disabilities and their families.
Provider agencies, caregivers and family members can learn more about the GoDirect program online atwww.GoDirect.org. Two options are being offered to benefit recipients: Direct deposit, which is the electronic transfer of a payment into an individual's checking or savings account, or the Direct Express® card, which does not require a bank or credit union account to enroll. Cardholders can use Direct Express® to make purchases, pay bills and get cash.
People who receive federal benefits can sign up for direct deposit or the Direct Express® card online, or by calling the U.S. Treasury Electronic Payment Solution Center at (800) 333-1795. If federal benefit recipients do not choose a method of payment, they will be issued the Direct Express® card.