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Goodbye to Paper Social Security Checks

March 20, 2013

Effective March 1, 2013, the Social Security Administration, as well as other federal agencies, are no longer issuing paper checks for payment of Social Security and other federal benefits. Keep in mind that waivers of this provision are available to beneficiaries over the age of 90, or those with mental impairments, or those who live in remote locations. Waiver requests no longer need to have a notarized signature, which proved to be a hardship for many applicants.

The National Consumer Law Center has produced a new Consumer Concerns for Elder Advocates regarding Treasury's switch from paper checks to direct deposit or prepaid cards for recipients of Social Security, Veterans Affairs, and other federal benefits. The issue brief includes information on obtaining waivers and tips on how electronic payment of benefits can protect bank accounts from garnishment by debt collectors.  The issue brief is available at

For more information regarding electronic payment, refer to the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Go Direct Website at or call the helpline at 1-800-333-1795.


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