July 24, 2014

SS, Rail Retirement benefits go electronic

Come May 1, Social Security and Railroad Retirement checks for new recipients no longer will be mailed.

The Social Security Administration and the Railroad Retirement Board are going paperless — sending payment electronically (direct deposit) to those receiving retirement, disability and survivor benefits.

Those already receiving Social Security and Railroad Retirement benefits will have until March 1, 2013 to establish direct deposit at a financial institution, or arrange for the benefits to be credited to a debit card. An exception will be made for those at least 90 years old and those living in remote areas.

The agencies say that eight of 10 benefits recipients already receive them electronically.

Electronic payment eliminates the problem of lost or stolen checks, and makes it easier and more prompt for those away from home to ensure payments are available for use.

Beneficiaries who do not have bank or credit union accounts may obtain a Direct Express debit MasterCard.

For more information and assistance, go to www.GoDirect.org, or call, toll free, (800) 333-1795.