“Direct deposit presents many advantages,” said Jo Anne Barnhart,
Commissioner of Social Security. “It eliminates concerns about
delayed mail and the need for frequent trips to the bank. Direct
deposit removes the possibility of a lost or stolen check. I cannot
think of a better partner to help us deliver this message than the
New York City Fire Department. The FDNY is known around the world
for its commitment to serving the public, in addition to its well-deserved
reputation for bravery.”
With direct deposit, payments are deposited automatically into
accounts and are readily available for immediate use. There is
no need to wait in long lines to cash a check or to worry when a
visit to a bank is impossible due to inclement weather or a lack
Direct deposit presents an advantage for the government as well.
It costs the government 45 cents to process and mail a check while
it costs only 4 cents to send a payment by direct deposit. Last
year, direct deposit saved the Social Security Trust Funds approximately
Currently, more than 50 million Americans receive Social Security
and SSI benefits. Of those, almost 40 million (nearly 80 percent)
have already taken advantage of direct deposit. Direct deposit
has been available to Social Security beneficiaries since 1976.
Signing up for direct deposit is relatively simple and easy, just
call SSA’s toll free number,
1-800-772-1213 (or 1-800-325-0778 for TTY users), or visit the
nearest local Social Security office. Banks, savings and loan or
credit unions can also help people sign up for direct deposit.
Visit SSA’s website – http://www.ssa.gov/deposit/
– for more information on direct deposit.
If for some reason, an individual does not have an account and
cannot open one at a bank, savings and loan or credit union, the
Department of Treasury has created special low-cost accounts available
to persons who receive a federal benefit. To find out where to
open one of these low-cost Electronic Transfer Accounts (ETA) individuals
should call 1-888-382-3311, toll-free or look for the ETA logo in
the financial institution’s window or lobby.
# # #
Copies of most SSA press releases, as well as other Social Security
information and statistics,
are available at SSAs Internet site, Social Security
Online, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov.
Also look there for information on subscribing to SSAs
free electronic newsletter, Social Security eNews.
SSA Press Office 449
Altmeyer Bldg. 6401 Security Blvd. Baltimore, MD 21235
410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973