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 Treasury Calls on all Federal Beneficiaries to sign up for Direct Deposit


April 9, 2009


WASHINGTON, D.C. – As America confronts the most severe financial crisis in generations, the Obama Administration remains committed to ensuring government action is administered as quickly and efficiently as possible. That is why the Treasury Department is calling on all Americans who are federal benefit recipients and still get checks in the mail to sign up for direct deposit, a small step that will help the government save millions, lessen the possibility for check fraud and benefit the environment.

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Treasury Department's Financial Management Service (FMS) will issue more than 64 million one-time $250 payments to Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Railroad Retirement and Veteran Affairs benefit recipients to make tough economic times a bit easier. An estimated 80% of these payments will be made electronically, leaving the remaining recipients until April 20 to switch from checks to direct deposit before the first disbursements are made in early May.   Those individuals who switch to direct deposit will experience safer, more secure delivery of their economic recovery payment, as well as all future benefit payments, and will receive their payment sooner than those who wait for the mail delivery of a check.

"I know a lot of folks like seeing that paper check in the mail - but with direct deposit, the money gets out faster and with more security," said Vice President Biden.   "With the Recovery Act, we're trying to get money in people's pockets, but also streamline our government's processes and root out excess costs.   Direct deposit accomplishes both those goals, so I urge all those receiving federal benefits each month to sign up for it by April 20th."

"These $250 payments are a direct result of this Administration's unprecedented effort to get the economy back on track." said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. "When these payments begin next month, the recipients already using direct deposit will save taxpayers an estimated $13 million in paper and postage costs. Today we're asking all Americans to join the effort. Direct deposit is good for the government, good for the environment and greatly enhances the security around benefit payments, protecting against check fraud and identity theft."

Today's announcement is part of an ongoing effort by the Treasury Department to switch all federal benefit recipients to direct deposit, which will save taxpayers approximately $130 million each year.

To learn more about how to sign up for direct deposit go to  Recipients are not required to sign up for direct deposit to receive their one-time benefit.  Those recipients who choose not to sign up for direct deposit will still receive their payments on time.  


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