Gone are the days in which the Social Security Administration used the snail mail check method for providing monthly payment benefits to qualified recipients. The Social Security Administration now requires all beneficiaries to receive their payment via electronic transfer. This applies to those who receive regular retirement benefits based on age, Social Security Disability Insurance, or Supplemental Security Income. Acceptable accounts can include bank accounts, private debit card accounts, and a Direct Express card account. For these account managers, this is termed direct deposit. And it provides additional benefits beyond timely transfer and immediate access to your Social Security funds.
Getting started with an Electronic Funds Transfer
Also known as an EFT payment, recipients must provide their bank routing number and their personal account number in order for the process to complete successfully. The name on the account should also be similar to the recipient’s name registered with the SSA system. Once this information is recorded and a test deposit goes through successfully, the recipient is set up for ongoing transfers. Many recipients will already have a bank account or debit card that they want to use due to prior familiarity. Others who are new to the system and do not have a banking account can either open an account, purchase a debit card, or accept the Direct Express card that SSA recommends for those who do not have a prior account of any type.
Timely Benefit Arrival
There are multiple advantages for those receiving their Social Security payments through the direct deposit electronic transfer system. The primary benefit for many recipients is that payments for some actually arrive prior to payment date, as some card companies and banks no longer hold these funds until the designated day as stated by the SSA. This benefit does not apply to all recipients, but it does for many who receive their payment via a personal debit card. Banks and Direct Express typically make funds available on the stated day as determined by the SSA.
Regular Card Use
Another benefit of electronic transfer is that recipients can use their deposit card to make purchases throughout the month as long as funds are remaining on the card. This is an easy and secure method of keeping your money in a safe location and while still having funds access for purchases whenever needed. The EFT card from Direct Express is effectively a bank account with reduced or zero fees when withdrawing cash at certain locations. The Direct Express card can be used for any purchase that a prior card was used for in most situations, including automatic deductions for specific time-based payments to avoid unnecessary paper billing and payment.
The truth about accessibility and dependability through the EFT system is that many SSA benefit recipients actually choose to maintain a Direct Express card in addition to their personal bank account or a debit card. Additionally, the Direct Express card can also be obtained before an individual actually qualifies for Social Security so it will be ready at the time that benefits do begin.