Be Safe … Go Direct (deposit)
January 15, 2009
Direct deposit is safer, easier and more convenient than getting a paper check in the mail. Yet despite the advantages, many people who rely on Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Veterans Administration Compensation and Pension payments still get checks.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Banks are sponsoring Go Direct, a campaign to motivate people who receive federal benefit checks to use direct deposit.
What: Go Direct reaches out to people through organizations they know and trust to inform them about the many benefits of direct deposit and help them sign up.
Through events and media, Go Direct works to encourage people to switch to direct deposit.
Why: Direct deposit is simply the best way for people to get their Social Security, SSI and VA Compensation and Pension payments because it eliminates the risk of stolen checks, reduces fraud and gives them more control over their money. Plus, direct deposit allows immediate access to funds from virtually anywhere.
A simple action like enrolling in direct deposit can offer much-needed peace of mind to people who rely on federal benefits, most of whom are seniors and people with disabilities.
In addition, direct deposit saves taxpayers money ” if everyone who currently gets a federal benefit check switched to direct deposit, it would save taxpayers millions of dollars annually. The money saved as a result of Go Direct will be used to cover the costs of future Social Security payments ” a benefit to all Americans for generations to come. This is especially relevant today, given that the first wave of baby boomers has started reaching retirement age.
Who: Treasury’s Financial Management Service and the Federal Reserve Banks are working with partners to implement the campaign. Partnerships with banks, credit unions, social service agencies, community-based groups and other organizations are vital to the campaign’s success in communicating the Go Direct message.
How: People who get Social Security, SSI and VA Compensation and Pension checks are culturally, economically, geographically and socially diverse. To reach them all, the campaign relies on partners to communicate the Go Direct message, along with media outreach, campaign materials and Web sites in English and Spanish (www.GoDirect.org and http://www.DirectoASuCuenta.org).
The campaign makes it easy for people to sign up for direct deposit ” they can call the Go Direct helpline at (800) 333-1795, visit http://www.GoDirect.org to sign up online or stop in their local financial institution or Social Security Administration office to make the switch.
” Content for this story provided by and used with the permission of the United States Federal Reserve
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