All federal benefit payments will be electronic by March 1, 2013. People applying or federal benefit payments must choose an electronic payment option – direct deposit to a bank or credit union account or to a Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® card – from the beginning. People currently getting benefit checks must switch to an electronic payment option by March 1, 2013. People who have not chosen an electronic payment option by March 1, 2013, will receive their money after the deadline date via the Direct Express® card, so they will not experience any interruption in payment.
The move to all-electronic federal benefit payments provides significant savings to American taxpayers who will no longer incur the $120 million price tag associated with paper checks. Electronic payments also are safer, easier and more convenient for benefit recipients. The Go Direct® campaign is helping federal benefit recipients sign up for, or transition to, electronic payments.