Federal benefits changes coming soon

Published 12:45am Tuesday, September 18, 2012

United Way of the Greater Miss-Lou has partnered with Alcorn State University Extension Program to help promote the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Go Direct campaign.

Our goal is to ensure all residents of the Miss-Lou are informed of the changes taking place in the distribution of federal benefits, which include but are not limited to, Social Security Administration (Social Security and SSI), Veteran’s Affairs, Railroad Retirement Board, Office of Personnel Management and Department of Labor.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury now requires all federal benefit and non-tax payments to be made electronically. (Non-tax payments include federal wage, retirement and vendor payments.) Electronic payments are safer, easier and more reliable than paper checks. Switching to electronic payments of federal benefits is expected to save taxpayers $1 billion over the next 10 years.

People applying for federal benefit payments must choose an electronic payment option at the time they apply for the benefit.

People currently getting federal benefit checks must switch to electronic payments by March 1, 2013.

The Treasury Department recommends Direct Deposit to a bank or credit union account or to a Direct Express card account. People who do not choose an electronic payment option by March 1, 2013, or at the time they apply for benefits, will receive their federal benefit payments via the Direct Express card, so they will not experience any interruption in payment.

People who are already receiving their benefit payments electronically do not need to take action. They will continue to receive their payment as usual on the payment day.

Miss-Lou residents can easily make the switch to electronic payments online at or through the U.S. Treasury Electronic Payment Solution Center toll-free at 1-800-333-1795.

If people choose direct deposit, they can also sign up at their bank or credit union. Over the next few months United Way of the Greater Miss-Lou with Alcorn State University Extension Program will distribute Go Direct Campaign materials to many businesses, institutions and public service agencies in the community.

Throughout the month of October several workshops will be held providing Go Direct information, as well as safe debit practices. The general public is invited to join us at 6 p.m. Oct. 4 at 15 Campus Drive in the School of Nursing Auditorium.

For more information about the Go Direct campaign or to have educational material delivered to a business, agency or institution please contact Tammy Prince at 601-442-1081.


Tiffany Mascagni is the executive director United Way of the Greater Miss-Lou.



  • Anonymous

    Why aren’t people throwing a fit?  I mean, you have to have an ID to get a bank account and surely this will mean that elderly and minorities will no longer to be able to get their benefits.  Right?  I keep hearing that minorities and the elderly just can’t be expected to get IDs so I guess they are going to starve to death.

    Yes that was sarcasm but it also serves as more evidence that opposition to voter ID laws is merely protection of voter fraud rackets.