WASHINGTON, May 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As hurricane season
approaches, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Go Direct campaign is
advising Social Security check recipients who live along the Gulf Coast and
Eastern seaboard to switch to direct deposit. The recommendation is aimed
at safeguarding senior citizens and people with disabilities by ensuring
seamless delivery of their federal benefit payments in the days following a
hurricane or severe weather event.
Currently, more than 3 million Americans living in hurricane-prone
states still receive their federal benefit payments by paper check instead
of direct deposit. By switching to direct deposit, people can protect
themselves against disruptions in mail service and other factors that could
delay the delivery of a paper check payment.
People who receive federal benefits by check can switch to direct
deposit by calling the Go Direct helpline at (800) 333-1795 (English and
Spanish), signing up online at http://www.GoDirect.org (English) and
http://www.DirectoASuCuenta.org (Spanish), or visiting their local bank or
In the days and weeks following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, almost
85,000 emergency payments had to be issued. By contrast, Social Security
and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients already using direct
deposit were able to access their funds immediately through automated
teller machines, debit cards and financial institution networks around the
In addition to safeguarding Americans from delays or disruptions,
direct deposit protects federal benefit recipients from the devastating
effects of financial fraud and identity theft. A recent nationwide
Treasury-sponsored survey revealed that four in 10 respondents say they
have been victims of identity theft or know someone who has. The survey
also showed that nearly one in three respondents (31 percent) said they had
had a check, important document or large sum of cash lost or stolen.
By switching to direct deposit, Social Security and SSI recipients can
eliminate the likelihood of a stolen check and help ensure the safety of
their personal and financial information.
SOURCE U.S. Treasury's Go Direct Campaign