Important Message for SCCU Members Receiving Federal Benefit Checks
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has announced that anyone who receives federal benefit payments by paper check is required to switch to an electronic payment method like direct deposit by March 1, 2013. Paper checks are being phased out as a federal benefit payment option.
- Current federal benefit check recipients: Anyone who currently receives federal benefit payments by paper check is required switch to electronic payments by March 1, 2013. Switch to direct deposit at SCCU, or visit the Treasury Department’s website for more information.
- People applying for federal benefit payments: Anyone newly applying for Social Security or other federal benefits will be paid electronically from day one. Members need to be ready to choose direct deposit or learn about other Treasury Department options when applying for benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to questions often asked about switching from paper checks to electronic payments for federal benefit payments. Click on any of the questions below for the expanded answer. Or, choose "Show All" to see all of the Frequently Asked Questions and their respective answers.
Everyone who gets a paper check for their federal benefit payments is required to switch to an electronic payment method by March 1, 2013.
Visit any SCCU branch or contact the ou may also call the Member Service Center for assistance. It’s fast, free, and easy to switch to direct deposit. You can also call the U.S. Treasury Electronic Payment Solution Center at 800- 333-1795 Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST for additional information.
Why is the U.S. Department of the Treasury getting rid of paper checks for federal benefit payments?
More than 540,000 Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) checks were reported lost or stolen in 2010 alone. Electronic payments are safer, easier and more reliable than paper checks. They also save taxpayer dollars.
When you switch to electronic payments, make sure you have on hand your most recent federal benefit check. You will need to know the amount of your last check and your 12-digit federal benefit check number, which is in the upper right hand corner of the check. For direct deposit, you’ll also need your account type (checking or savings), account number, and SCCU’s routing transit number: 263177903. The Member Service Center or any SCCU branch can assist you.
There are many reasons why you should switch now rather than wait for the deadline. Getting your money electronically is safer, easier, and more reliable than paper checks. There’s no risk or lost or stolen checks and no need to make a trip to cash or deposit a check. Your money is on time, every time. Additionally, by switching now, you will beat the rush and avoid long waits to sign up as the deadline approaches.
Electronic payments and direct deposit mean the same thing. Both terms mean that your federal benefit payment goes straight from the Treasury Department to your bank or credit union account or the Direct Express card account on payment day each month.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury sends your money through a safe electronic transfer directly to your bank or credit union account or the Direct Express card account. Your personal information is not sent over the Internet.
With electronic payments, your money will be in your SCCU account or posted on a specific payment day each month. You can check your account information using CALL-24, Online Banking, or sign up for convenient Mobile Alerts for the fastest and easiest way to receive account information.
Once you have switched to electronic payments, you can rest easy knowing you will get your money in a safe, secure way. To help ensure your money remains protected from identity thieves and other criminals, safeguard your personal information by following these three tips:
- Be wary of anyone who calls or emails saying they are from a government agency and asks for personal information.
- Never give out your Social Security Number or other personal information to anyone unless you are the one who initiates contact and you know who you are dealing with.
- Regularly check your SCCU account activity to ensure there are no unexpected transactions.
For more information on protecting yourself from identity theft and other financial crimes, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Site at www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/.
No. This change to the way federal benefits are being paid only affects how you get your money. How you pay your bills or buy things – by check, cash or electronically – is up to you.
*People who do not choose an electronic payment option by March 1, 2013 will receive their payments via a government-issued Direct Express® card so they will not experience any interruption in payment. Learn more about federal benefit payment requirements and options on Treasury Department's Go Direct® website, http://godirect.org/.
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