In a new video public service announcement, actors George Takei and Patty Duke are helping the Social Security Administration get the word out that the best way to get your benefit payment is to “Go Direct.”
To learn more about direct deposit or apply for the Direct Express Debit MasterCard, visit www.GoDirect.org.
Previously, the two television and film icons did a series of eight PSAs encouraging the public to “boldly go” to www.socialsecurity.gov to apply for retirement, disability, Medicare, and other benefits. The spots are aimed at baby boomers who watched “Star Trek” and “The Patty Duke Show” in the 1960s and are now nearing retirement age.
“Getting your Social Security or Supplemental Security Income payment by direct deposit or Direct Express is safer and more reliable,” said Michael J. Astrue, commissioner of Social Security. “You don’t have to worry about your check being lost or stolen and your money is available immediately on your payment date. There is no need to wait for the mail to arrive As George says, you’ll get your payment at warp speed.”
The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced a new rule that will extend the safety and convenience of electronic payments to millions of Americans and phase out paper checks for federal benefit and non-tax payments by March 1, 2013. Anyone applying for benefits after May 1, 2011, will receive their payments electronically, while those currently receiving paper checks will need to switch to direct deposit by March 1, 2013.
Electronic payments also will provide significant savings to American taxpayers who will no longer incur the $120 million a year price tag associated with paper checks and save $1 billion over the next ten years. Eliminating paper checks also will provide positive benefits to the environment, saving 12 million pounds of paper in the first five years alone.