Did you know that recipients of benefits administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) are required by March 1, 2013 to arrange to receive their benefits via electronic transfer? This requirement applies to anyone who receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), as well as retirement and most other benefits administered by SSA. SSA will no longer issue paper benefits checks; in order to continue receiving their benefits without interruption, all recipients will have to choose by March 1 either to: 1) receive their benefit via direct deposit into an account with a financial institution such as a bank or credit union; or 2) obtain a DirectExpress debit Mastercard, on which benefits will automatically be credited monthly and which does not require a bank account.
This big change is less than 2 months away! Are you and the people you serve ready? Please take advantage of the following opportunities to learn more about the program and prepare yourself and those you work with:
- In person: There will be an educational forum this Friday, January 11th, 10 AM - 1 PM offered by the Westchester Independent Living Center, 200 Hamilton Avenue, White Plains; tel. 914 682-3926 (see attached flyer). This public event is geared specifically to people receiving benefits and those who work with them. It will center around a presentation on the new requirements that will include a demonstration of how recipients can enroll online. The Forum will also include a discussion of building financial awareness and self-sufficiency, and representatives from several local credit unions will be present to share information about their services.
- On-line: The US Treasury Dept. has set up the easy-to-use DirectExpress website to help people understand the program and to easily transition to either the direct-deposit or debit-card option: www.usdirectexpress.com. If they wish, recipients can enroll in the program directly on this website. There is also a Spanish-language version of the site at: www.directoasucuenta.org. For a 60-second overview of the Go Direct program you may also want to view the video posted by the Treasury Dept. at: www.youtube.com/GoDirectUST
- By telephone: For more information about the program and help with enrolling the public can call US Treasury Department’s Go Direct program information line at: 800-333-1795 (assistance for Spanish speakers available at this number).
Please share this vital information with other members of the community, and let’s all please make an extra effort to reach those who do not have email or web access. Thanks very much!
Recipient Affairs Specialist
Westchester County Department of
Community Mental Health