Senior Life

News & information for the seniors in our community


You can rely on electronic payments

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[June 10, 2011]  You probably donít need a reminder that natural disasters lurk around the corner when we least expect it.  

Many natural disasters force people to leave their homes.  The last thing a person who falls victim to this kind of devastation needs to worry about is how theyíre going to get their next Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment.  

Hereís a solution. Make sure that youíre receiving your benefit payments electronically.  Electronic payments are the best way to receive your benefit payments. Hereís why.  

Electronic payments are safe. Your money is deposited directly into your account each month. Because itís transferred electronically, thereís never a risk of your check being lost or stolen. 


Electronic payments are quick. Youíll get your payment faster when itís made electronically. Your money is immediately available to you once itís deposited; no waiting by the mailbox for the check to arrive. 

Electronic payments are convenient. No more need to stand in line at the bank to cash your check or to leave your house when the weather is bad. Itís also nice to know your payment is in your account instead of your mailbox when youíre on vacation or away from home. 

Perhaps we also should mention that electronic payments are now mandatory. People who apply for Social Security benefits on or after May 1, 2011, must receive payments electronically. Nearly everyone currently receiving benefits who has not signed up for electronic payments must switch to electronic payments by March 1, 2013. Electronic payments may be made by direct deposit, the Direct Express card program, or an Electronic Transfer Account. You can learn more about all three at  


If youíre ever faced with a devastating event, there will be no question about where youíll find your money when you receive electronic payments. The same cannot be said for paper checks being sent to mailboxes that may no longer exist. 

Learn more by reading our online fact sheet, Get Your Payments Electronically at Or go directly to the source, where you can learn more and sign up for electronic payments:  


By Judith Bartels

Social Security District Manager in Springfield, IL  

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