With each advancement in technology, new ways of accomplishing tasks are invented. For instance, tasks like banking that used to be done in person can now be done online. Other financial tasks like paying taxes can also be done electronically. E-filing, email, and e-payments have become standard ways of doing business.
Now, the Social Security Administration is officially converting to an entirely electronic system for distributing Social Security benefits. The SSA sent out paper checks to recipients of a variety of Social Security benefits for many years. However, by making these paying benefits through direct deposits and debit cards, the SSA can save significant amounts of money.
While 93 percent of Social Security benefits are currently paid electronically, the remaining 7 percent of payments cost the SSA millions in postage each year. The SSA has set a deadline of March 1, 2013 for recipients to switch their payment choice to an electronic method.
CNN reports that while the SSA will not stop distributing benefits payments to recipients who do not sign up for electronic benefits, these recipients reportedly will not be "in compliance" with the SSA's policies.
Anyone still receiving their Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income through paper checks should look into switching their payment method as soon as possible. Though the deadline is set for March 1, switching to electronic payments earlier rather than later is unlikely to negatively impact recipients.
Keeping up to date on new SSA policies like the electronic payment plan is important for those receiving any kind of Social Security benefits. In addition, since applying for disability benefits from the SSA can be complicated at times, receiving help when applying for these benefits could be useful.
Source: CNN Money, "No more paper Social Security checks come March," Melanie Hicken, Jan. 9, 2013