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Go Direct – Changes to Federal Benefit Checks

2012 August 28
by Christina Manz

Reminder:  The U.S. Department of the Treasury needs your library’s help in getting out the word on changes to federal benefit checks. 

The Treasury Department’s Go Direct® campaign provides free materials to help you share this important information in your library outlets. For more details or to order free materials, contact Michelle Kloempken, your campaign representative, at 312-988-2035, mkloempken@webershandwick.com OR visit http://www.godirect.org/partners/order-materials/.

Please contact Michelle directly if you have questions.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury now requires all federal benefit and non-tax payments to be paid electronically. People applying for Social Security, Veterans Affairs or other federal benefits, will receive their payments electronically starting with their first payment. People currently receiving federal benefit checks must switch to an electronic payment option by March 1, 2013.

Approximately 375,000 Texans still receive their payments by paper check.

Having federal benefits paid electronically by direct deposit into the bank or credit union account of one’s choice or into a Direct Express® card account is safer, faster and more reliable than receiving paper benefit checks. In 2010, more than 540,000 Treasury-issued checks were reported lost or stolen, and had to be reissued.

How Your Library Can Help

The Go Direct® campaign makes it easy for your library to help residents get their federal benefits paid electronically.

A new public service announcement, five educational videos and print materials are now available to help you assist the people you serve with common questions about the requirement and getting payments electronically. Videos feature actual customer service agents from the U.S. Treasury Electronic Payment Solution Center and answer the following questions:

  • Why is the U.S. Treasury requiring electronic federal benefit payments?
  • How will I know my money has been deposited?
  • How does direct deposit work?
  • Are electronic payments safe?
  • How does the Direct Express® card work?

You can view the PSA and educational videos on GoDirect.org or by visiting its YouTube channel. Print materials can be downloaded from the Educational Videos and Fliers toolkit on www.GoDirect.org.

To order a looped DVD of the videos, contact your Go Direct campaign representative Michelle Kloempken by emailing mkloempken@webershandwick.com or by calling 312-988-2035. 

In addition, here’s what you can do:

  • Display free Go Direct campaign and Direct Express® card materials in your lobby – order free materials through the Go Direct website at: http://godirect.org/partners/order-materials/
  • Link to www.GoDirect.org from your website – reach out to Michelle Kloempken for web banners, widgets and educational videos
  • Include Go Direct information in your newsletter or on your social media channels.
  • Incorporate Go Direct information into presentations to the populations you serve.
  • Help people who are about to apply for federal benefits be ready to choose direct deposit or the Direct Express® card at enrollment time and understand what information they should have on-hand when signing up.
  • Actively encourage the people you serve who currently get federal benefit checks to make the switch to electronic payments today, so they can beat the last-minute rush to sign up before the deadline.

For more information on how you can get involved in the campaign or to order free materials, please visit www.GoDirect.org or contact your campaign representative, Michelle Kloempken at 312.988.2035 or mkloempken@webershandwick.com

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