In May of 2011, the U.S. Department of Treasury began to phase out paper Social Security checks in favor of direct-deposited funds. Anyone applying for Social Security or other federal benefits after that date were required to receive their payments electronically.
According to an article on MSN.com, this move to direct deposit is nearly complete, with only about 3.3 million people (6%) still being paid with paper checks. The article noted that disability recipients of Supplement Security Income payments are less likely to have made the switch.
But by March of 2013, the U.S. Treasury Department will require most people to receive direct deposit, although a limited number of hardship cases, such as people in their 90s, will be allowed.
By using direct deposit, there are less fears of stolen checks, less need to take a check somewhere to be cashed, less worry about a check that is in the mail.
If you have questions about this switch, or to make sure you understand the rules and fees surrounding direct deposit accounts for your Social Security benefits, visit your local Social Security office or call the agency’s national number at 800-772-1213.