Social Security Benefits Disbursed Strictly Electronically By 20 - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Social Security Benefits Disbursed Strictly Electronically By 2013

Posted: Updated:
ELKINS -

Social Security through Direct Deposit has been an option since 1976.

By March 1st 2013, Social Security via electronic payments will be a mandate.

There's support for and against the mandate.

"For myself I would select that but I can see issues for other people," said Vicki Alfano, who doesn't receive Social Security checks yet but expects to in the future.

Recipients of Social Security will no longer be reliant on postal services for their checks.

Instead, funds will either be directly entered into their bank account or available on a Direct Express Card.

For some, having the money entered automatically into a bank account is convenient.

"Mine comes on the third Wednesday of every month and I know that at that time the check will be in the bank," said Judy Jones, who's been receiving her social security through direct deposit for the last ten years.

Even if you're out of town, that money will be in your bank account on that very day, without you ever stepping foot in a bank.

And without the paper trail, checks can't be stolen or lost.

Since direct deposit has been available, not one Social Security check has been lost or stolen.

But not everyone thinks it will be an easy or better change.

"They just feel better if it's in their hands, they just feel things are safer," Jones said.

For some people, trust will be the biggest obstacle to overcome.

"Some people who are receiving Social Security or of that age that went through the Great Depression and don't trust banks because they lost everything," Alfano said.

Some of those people do not have bank accounts, and feel opening one up will cost them money.

"Because right now a lot of the bank accounts you have to maintain a certain balance or you can be charged fees," Alfano said.

But you don't need a bank account to receive your benefits electronically. You can use a Direct Express Card. The card is free and so are most transactions, but not all.

The new system will save the government money, but some feel there are better ways to save.

"I can see where the government wants to cut down and things like that but I think there are other ways that they can cut down," Alfano said.

For more information about Social Security and Direct Deposit click here.

For frequently asked questions, click here.

To share your thoughts about the mandate click here.