Electronic Payments: the Best (and Soon Only) Way to Get Benefits
A Department of the Treasury rule with a fast approaching deadline requires most Federal benefit payments be made electronically instead of by paper check. With a few exceptions, this March 1, 2013 mandate includes Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Veterans Affairs, Railroad Retirement Board, Office of Personnel Management benefits, and other non-tax payments.
Currently, more than 94 percent of Social Security beneficiaries and nearly 83 percent of SSI beneficiaries receive their monthly benefits electronically, the safest and most reliable method of payment delivery.
People still getting paper checks have the option of direct deposit to a financial institution account of their choice or Treasury's Direct Express® debit card program. Learn more about the advantages of receiving benefits electronically, and sign-up today at www.godirect.org.
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Online Services in Spanish
During Hispanic Heritage Month please tell your clients who speak Spanish that they can apply for Social Security benefits, Medicare, Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug costs, get a personalized estimate of future Social Security benefits and much more, all in Spanish at www.segurosocial.gov.
Statement Available Online
One of the America’s most popular planning tools, the Social Security Statement, is now available online.
The online Social Security Statement is easy to use and provides people with estimates they can use to plan for their retirement. People should get in the habit of checking their online Statement each year, around their birthday, for example.
In addition to helping with financial planning, the online Statement provides workers a convenient way to determine whether their earnings are accurately posted to their Social Security record. This feature is important because Social Security benefits are based on average earnings over a person's lifetime. If the information is incorrect, the person may not receive all the benefits they earned.
For more information about the online Statement, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/mystatement.
Social Security Joins 'Protect Your Identity Week'
Each year, millions of people become victims of identity theft. To help consumers stay protected, Social Security has joined the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and the Council of Better Business Bureaus in support of Protect Your Identity Week this October 20 to 27. To learn more about identity theft protection, to help your clients assess their risk of identity theft, or to find events in your area, visit www.ProtectYourIDNow.org.
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