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Supplemental Security Income payments go electronic next year

For many in Trenton, Michigan, a monthly Supplemental Security Income check is essential for living a comfortable life. Those receiving paper checks for their Social Security benefit will see a change to how they receive their benefit by 2013. According to representatives from the U.S. Treasury, all federal benefit payments, including SSI, will be made electronically.

At this time, 90 percent of Social Security and SSI payments are already delivered electronically, but for those who still receive their payments via check, this is a big change. Beneficiaries can receive direct deposits to their bank accounts or have their payments loaded onto a debit card under the new plan. Treasury officials are urging people to decide how they would like the electronic payments to be processed as soon as possible, in order to make the transition easier. If an individual does not take action by March 2013, then they will be automatically enrolled in the debit card option.

This change is being labeled as a move for efficiency and convenience. Not only is it easier and more secure for individuals to have a payment delivered instantly and automatically, but it will save the federal government a significant amount of money. In fact, making an electronic payment costs about 10 percent as much as it does to deliver paper checks by mail.

Though this move will not alter the amount each beneficiary receives, it is important to understand how monthly benefits are delivered. As such, individuals receiving federal disability benefits should determine what method of payment is best for their personal situation. The debit card option is specifically designed for those without bank accounts. On the other hand, if you trust your bank and receive Social Security benefits, direct deposit may be the best option to consider. As such, an individual should consider consulting with a knowledgeable disability benefits professional if they have concerns about how the upcoming changes may affect them.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "Social Security to Go Paperless in 2013," March 16, 2012

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