Tuesday, December 21, 2010

VA Urges Veterans to Sign Up for Direct Deposits

Treasury Publishes Final Regulation to Phase Out Paper Checks by 2013

WASHINGTON (Dec. 21, 2010)- The Department of the Treasury announced a
new rule that will extend the safety and convenience of electronic
payments to millions of Americans and phase out paper checks for federal
benefits by March 1, 2013.  Officials at the Department of Veterans
Affairs (VA) urge Veterans to sign up for electronic payment of their
benefits.

"Receiving VA benefits electronically will increase the security,
convenience and reliability of these vital payments," said Secretary of
Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "VA encourages Veterans who are now
receiving their benefits in paper checks to set up direct deposits
before the deadline."

On March 1, 2013, VA will stop issuing paper checks.  People who do not
have electronic payments for their federal benefits by that time will
receive their funds via a pre-paid debit card.  Called the Direct
Express card, it is issued by Comerica Bank as the financial agent of
the U.S. Treasury.

Another deadline affects people receiving VA's compensation or pensions
for the first time after May 1, 2011.  Those people will automatically
receive the benefits electronically.

Anyone already receiving federal benefit payments electronically will be
unaffected by the changes.  To learn more about the federal government's
switch to direct deposit - or to change VA benefits to direct deposit --
visit www.GoDirect.org.  Information about the federal government's "Go
Direct" campaign is also available at 1-800-333-1795.

Along with payments for VA benefit, the change will also affect
recipients of payments from Social Security, Supplemental Security
Income, Railroad Retirement Board,or Office of Personnel Management.