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Got checks? Feds mark 30-day countdown to paperless benefit payments

February 1, 2013
by Pamela Tabar, Senior Editor
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In 30 days, all federal benefits will be paid electronically—no more paper checks. This includes Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Veterans Affairs payments, and other types of federal benefits.

Long-term care facilities should act quickly to ensure that all residents who receive federal benefits have made the switch before the March 1 deadline. Many newer residents have probably changed their benefit payment mode already, but long-staying residents or recent transfers from other facilities may not have done so.

Administrators and staff can help residents with reminders--from signage within the facility to notices in a community newsletter. The Treasury Department offers free educational materials, signage examples and other tools at its electronic benefits site, www.GoDirect.org. Program information for nursing home administrators can be found on the federal GoDirect program’s Nursing Facilities page. Resources designed for caregivers are gathered in the Caregivers Tool Kit.

Beneficiaries can choose between two electronic methods for benefit deposits: Direct deposit into a bank account, or deposit to a Debit Mastercard (Direct Express). Both options can be access by visiting the GoDirect site or by calling 1-800-333-1795.

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