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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 12/21/2010

Social Security, other benefits checks to go paperless in May

By Ed O'Keefe

New recipients of Social Security and other federal benefits will have to accept paperless payments only starting in May, the Treasury Department announced Tuesday.

As The Federal Eye has reported before, the Obama administration is pushing to make most government benefits payments paperless by 2013, including most federal paystubs.

The change will eventually impact about 136 million payments sent by the Social Security Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, Railroad Retirement Board and Office of Personnel Management.

The move should cut about $48 million in government postage costs and save taxpayers approximately $303 million in the first five years after the switch, Treasury said. The change also should eliminate fears of lost or stolen checks and problems faced by displaced people.

Those already on Social Security will have until March 1, 2013 to make the switch to direct deposits or a debit card.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | December 21, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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I think this is a very good, and smart idea. Checks can get lost or stolen, but going electronic deposit, will certainly be a lot safer.

Posted by: pcbill07 | December 21, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

its about time and long overdue... but why give more than 2 years for existing ss customers to sign on... what takes 2 years that couldnt be done in 3 months? our government is so unbusiness-like and inefficient

Posted by: zyclon | December 21, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"what takes 2 years that couldnt be done in 3 months? our government is so unbusiness-like and inefficient"

Social Security checks mostly go to old people. Generally, they take a long time to get used to new things.

Posted by: JTF- | December 21, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

The reason it is two years is because Obama doesn't want seniors to get mad at him before re-election. He is changing the way they have always received payments, dating back to when they were in the workforce. This change is going to upset a lot of people and Obama does not want any blow back on him right before re-election.

Pay attention to when new bills are suppose to be enforced, if it is around an election day chances are it is a political move. Both sides do it.

Posted by: Tech2010 | December 22, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

This rule stinks. I'm not a senior, but I already know who will NOT be getting my vote in 2012. Treasury Department obviously paid no attention to the comments on the original rule; the changes they put in place mean virtually nothing. If 80 to 85% percent of benefit recipients are no longer receiving a paper check, it's not going to take long for the remainder to die off, leaving only those who want direct deposit or that awful debit card (wonder how many billions Comerica is making on that one!). It's high time government returned to serving the people, rather than thinking it knows better than than we do.

Posted by: generaldelivery11 | December 22, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

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