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Federal Benefits Recipients Must ‘Go Direct’ By March

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Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - Social Security and other federal benefits recipients who currently receive paper checks have just over one month to register for Direct Deposit.

The Treasury Department will cease the production of paper checks on Friday, March 1, which means there’s still time to ‘Go Direct.’

Treasury Department spokesman Walt Henderson says if you have to make the switch, you have two options. You can either link the benefits to your bank account directly, or get the Direct Express Debit MasterCard, which is a card that can be used like a debit or credit card, and is set up for this specific use.

“You can use the card anywhere MasterCard is accepted,” Henderson says. “So you can pay your bills, get cash back, and make withdrawals at the ATM. It’s a great alternative for that person who doesn’t have that banking relationship.”

He says there are practical reasons for making this transition.

“For example, just a few months ago Hurricane Sandy delayed a lot of the delivery of paper checks on the east coast,” Henderson says. “Over 93 percent of federal benefit recipients across the country already use direct deposit.”

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