The Treasury Department is replacing paper checks with direct electronic transfers effective May 1, 2011 for new applicants of Social Security, Veterans Affairs or other federal benefits. New applicants for federal benefits need to provide their bank’s routing number and account number, which should be located on the bottom of a personal check. People currently receiving federal benefits by paper check must make the switch to direct deposit by March 1, 2013.
Electronic money transfers are supposed to save the government money, and be safer and more convenient than the paper checks. Last year at least 540,000 Social Security and Supplemental Security Income paper checks were reported lost or stolen and required replacement. For more information, visit www.GoDirect.com.