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Monday, May 2, 2011

Federal Benefits have gone "electronic"

U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios

USA - As of May 1, 2011, the federal government of the United States of America requires payments from the federal government to be disbursed "electronically" - .direct deposit to your bank or credit union account OR direct express through you debit card. It is projected to save the government bilions over time.

By March 1, 2013, everyone getting federal benefits by paper check will need to switch to electronic payments - direct deposit to a bank or credit union account or to the Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® card.

If you do not choose an electronic payment option by March 1, 2013, or at the time you apply for federal benefits, you will receive your payments via the Direct Express® card so you will not experience any interruption in payment.

What is the Direct Express® card?

The Direct Express® card is a prepaid debit card offered to Social Security and Supplemental Security Income check recipients who wish to receive their benefits electronically. The debit card offers the convenience and security of using electronic transactions to spend and access your money rather than using cash for purchases. You do not need to have a bank account to sign up for the card. There is no credit check or minimum balance requirement.

How does the Direct Express® card work?

When you sign up to receive your Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits on the Direct Express® card, you will receive your payment every month without having to worry about cashing your check, losing your check, or having it stolen. Instead of receiving a check, your money will be automatically deposited to your Direct Express® card account on your payment date. You can use your card to withdraw cash from Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), make purchases at stores that accept Debit MasterCard®, and get cash back when you make those purchases. You can also use your debit card for online bill pay and to buy money orders at the U.S. Post Office.

For more info, go to:

DIRECT EXPRESS: http://www.usdirectexpress.com/edcfdtclient/docs/faq.html#1

What is Go Direct ® card?

To sign-up for Go Direct you will need to complete specifics for your bank rounting number, account number and the like. For specific information, go to:

GO DIRECT: http://www.godirect.org/

It is important to read the rules about both methods for charges and other rules.

To ensure that disbursements are as stated as well as monitored for quality control, each person must be responsible and be willing to contact their federal representatives for accountability. For Milwaukee, we are looking at:

--Senior U.S. Senator Herb Kohl
310 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 950
Milwaukee, WI 53203

(414) 297-4451

--U.S Congresswoman Gwen Moore
219 N Milwaukee Street, Suite 3A
Milwaukee, WI 53202

(414) 297-1140

-- Junior U.S. Senator Ron Johnson
517 E. Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53202

(414) 276-7282

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