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Social Security Benefits: Advantages of Direct Deposit

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  • Social Security Benefits: Advantages of Direct Deposit

    If you receive Social Security Benefits there are many advantages to having your payments deposited directly into your bank account. Here is what you need to know about receiving your Social Security Benefits by direct deposit. Social Security pays benefits on certain payment days. When you are approved for Social Security benefits you will be assigned a "payment cycle" and your checks will always be paid on that day. Social Security will mail you a check if you do not elect direct deposit; however, there are many problems with receiving your checks through the mail.

    What is Direct Deposit?

    When you have your Social Security Benefits paid by direct deposit your payment will be in your bank account on the morning of your payment day. You will not have to rely on the post office to deliver your check or risk having your check lost or stolen. Once your direct deposit is set up correctly and working your checks will be in your bank account like clockwork.

    What Could Go Wrong?

    Direct Deposit is not without problems. If the Social Security representative types the wrong account number or routing number your next payment will bounce back to the Treasury Department and they will have to reissue the payment to you. If this happens to you it could delay receiving your check for up to three weeks! Make sure the representative you talk to enters the correct account type (checking or savings), account number, and routing number. The other potential problem is your bank could take your check if you are overdrawn. If you have a negative balance due to overdraft fees the bank will apply your Social Security check to the negative balance; if you are overdrawn more than the amount Social Security deposits, the bank will take your entire check.

    How Do You Sign Up?

    To sign up for Direct Deposit of your Social Security benefits you will need to have a checking account, savings account, or Electronic Transfer Account (ETA). ETA accounts are special deposit accounts for individuals that might not be able to open a checking or savings account because of their credit.

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