US peo­ple not to get cheque by mail

The Pak Banker - - International -

WASHINGTON: Be­fore too long, the govern­ment check will no longer be in the mail. Of­fi­cials have set­tled on the dates when mil­lions of peo­ple will no longer be able to get their So­cial Se­cu­rity and other ben­e­fit checks by mail.

New re­cip­i­ents of ben­e­fits will have to ac­cept pa­per­less pay­ments start­ing on May 1 of next year, three months later than first pro­posed.

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

More than 58 mil­lion re­tirees, dis­abled peo­ple and sur­viv­ing fam­ily mem­bers re­ceive So­cial Se­cu­rity or Sup­ple­men­tal Se­cu­rity ben­e­fits. Al­ready eight out of 10 peo­ple get­ting fed­eral ben­e­fits re­ceive those pay­ments elec­tron­i­cally, of­fi­cials say. The switch to elec­tronic pay­ments will elim­i­nate the prob­lem of lost or stolen checks and also the prob­lems faced by peo­ple dis­placed from their homes who have to worry about get­ting their checks mailed to them, said Richard L. Gregg, the Trea­sury Depart­ment's as­sis­tant fis­cal sec­re­tary. "Even though we have done a good job of en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to switch over, we still are mak­ing 120 mil­lion pay­ments by mail for So­cial Se­cu­rity ev­ery year and an­other 15 mil­lion an­nu­ally for vet­er­ans and other types of ben­e­fits," Gregg said. Ev­ery year, the govern­ment has to process about 600,000 claims for lost or stolen checks. So­cial Se­cu­rity will save $1 bil­lion over the next decade from phas­ing out paper checks, he said. The fi­nal rules, sched­uled to be un­veiled Tues­day, are very sim­i­lar to the pro­posal the govern­ment put for­ward in June. -Reuters

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