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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Social Security Goes Electronic on Paying Benefits

Starting May 1, receiving your Social Security benefits through Electronic payment method will no longer be a question, but a mandate.

Say goodbye to checks as the Social Security Administration (SSA) has required all SS beneficiaries to enroll in an electronic account for their disability, supplemental income, survivors', or retirement monthly allowances.

The SSA has started sending notices to SS beneficiaries on how they can enroll into the Electronic payment system. In the letter, SSA explains the process for registering their account online. Also, SSA gives alternative enrollment methods suppose beneficiaries do not have access to internet. These include direct deposit or direct express scheme.

Beneficiaries who prefer direct deposit can request for a Direct Express Debit MasterCard card or a prepaid debit card. They can receive their money right on their account without the need to wait for SS mail. The SSA affirms card holders that their money is attached on the account, not on the card per se. This gives further protection in case the card is stolen or missing. When this happens, beneficiaries can easily ask for a replacement card to recover their money.

However, senior citizens or retirees who have difficulty accessing electronic or online terminals can still visit a service center to retrieve their monthly allowances.

The new E-system aims to cut $1 billion from SSA expense over the next ten years. It promises a speedier payment scheme, a more accurate account statement, and safer money transfer. On top of everything, SSA seeks to upgrade the technology that it uses to monitor and aid citizens.

Sounds like SSA realizes its need for E- fine tuning. Well, it's a good start to show support on government's campaign on austerity and accuracy.