For some unknown reason I don’t believe I have many seniors following me. I can only judge by the number of readers of certain articles. However the following information can be helpful to those of you who receive Social Security checks in the mail, or know someone who does. The Social Security Administration will soon cease mailing those checks and electronically credit their bank account or a debit card.
It is supposed to work like this: Each recipient, now and in the future, will receive their monthly benefit credited to a bank account or debit card. If the recipient doesn’t have either one a Master Card will be issued to them. They can then use this card for all purchases and receive cash from an ATM once a month. This is supposed to be much safer than sending the check in the mail. In 2010 more than 540,000 federal benefit checks were reported lost or stolen. And it will save the government about $120 million a year.
It will also save the fee that some recipients pay to cash their check since there is no charge for debit card purchases.
One problem occurring to me is the possible misplacement or loss of the card. Some seniors might not remember where they put it.
If you would like more information, the government has a website, www.GoDirect.org and a toll-free phone number, 1-800-333-1795 for assistance. You can also read Dick Eastman’s article on the subject at Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter. If you can’t find it contact me and I will e-mail you his complete article. It has received some valid and interesting comments.