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Direct Deposit: A Fast, Convenient, and Secure Way to Receive Your Benefit Payments

February 12, 2021 • By

Last Updated: February 11, 2021

couple reviewing direct deposit options on their laptopAt Social Security and Veterans Affairs, issuing timely benefit payments is a core service we both provide. After all, we know you want your benefits on time to cover your household or medical expenses. The most secure way to get your benefits is to receive them electronically. It’s faster, safer, and more convenient than a paper check.

More than 98 percent of individuals receive their monthly benefit payments electronically—either by direct deposit or on their Direct Express® Debit Mastercard®. They don’t have to wait for a check to arrive in the mail and go to a bank or other location to cash it. Instead, their monthly benefits are deposited into their bank account or debit card automatically on the payment date.

We encourage everyone to sign up for direct deposit or the Direct Express® Debit Mastercard®. You can learn more about direct deposit on Social Security’s Direct Deposit webpage. Please share this information with your friends and family—and also on social media.


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  1. STEPHEN DEINES

    This is complete BS!!! There is nothing timely or efficient about the SSA’s direct deposit system. I changed my bank account and updated my direct deposit info with SSA two months ago, and they’re still sending my benefits to the old closed account so I can’t receive it. I’m now starving for the second month in a row because of the inefficiency of the SSA’s direct deposit system. Spew your propaganda at someone else, you’re completely full of it.

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Stephen, we are very sorry to hear about your experience with your direct deposit change. Please call your local Social Security office. Look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
    • Anita U.

      You are exactly right, Direct is the worst card company rated by the BBB. They won’t even take complaints anymore since Direct totally ignores them.
      SSA is full of it they tell you they have nothing to do with Direct Express. They are aware of the issues but do nothing. They are both despicable.

      Reply
  2. John E. Marquardt

    For over twenty years the SS benefit checks for my wife and I have been received via direct deposit. As we live in Japan, our SS checks are first deposited in some U. S. bank and then transferred to our accounts at a Japanese bank. Based on the information regarding EIP checks, we assumed they would be deposited in the same manner but this was not the case with the initial two EIPs. We received paper checks in the mail and since Japanese banks do not offer personal checking accounts, we had to cash them at our bank here at VERY high cost. If there is to be a third EIP, can our EIP checks be deposited directly in the same manner as our SS benefit checks?

    Reply
  3. Janet

    I put the wrong account number on my application for direct deposit. I realized it a month later, yet it will be a few months before my first check hits.

    I called SSA on the phone (I didn’t realize I could change it online) and the CSR changed it for me. She repeated back the numbers to make sure she had input the right number.

    I log into my profile and the account number hasn’t changed yet. How long does it take for it show up on my profile as changed?

    A little worried here.

    Reply
    • Vonda

      For your security, Janet, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can call your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
  4. Katlynn Zemlak

    yes it is good at some friv point but the system of Direct Deposit will slower than online system, don’t you think?

    Reply
  5. Felicia Michele McNeil

    I did not authorize Rep payee. I am verifiable. Rep payee is crime. Recipient Felicia Michele McNeil.

    Reply
  6. Manuela Cismaru

    Hello,
    My grandmother lives in Romania for over 20 years now and I guess she did not fill out questionares she was suppose to because she has never updated her address and now her ssi her stopped. I handle her account and my aunt’s and I really need her ssi to start back up so I can pay for her nursing home. I was told that she has to call the embassy in Romania to get it started again and she did but, was told they can’t help that some forms need to be filled. How can I get those forms so she can get them done.
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Manuela. Because of privacy and security concerns, you will not be able to conduct Social Security business on behalf of your grandmother unless you are her representative payee. Having a power of attorney, being an authorized representative, or having a joint bank account with your grandmother does not authorize you to access information on her Social Security record. If she does not have a representative payee and is not capable of managing and directing her Social Security benefits, someone should consider applying to be her payee. To learn more about becoming a representative payee, you can read our publication, “A Guide for Representative Payees” or visit our Representative Payee webpage.

      To apply to be your grandmother’s representative payee, you can call your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      If your grandmother is capable of handling her Social Security affairs, then she should continue working with the nearest Federal Benefit Unit in the area.

      Reply
    • Cathy Bates

      I have also been reciecing my benefits through Direct Express over the last 4 years. Things have been fine until recently, when my account was hacked. It’s been impossible to get a customer service person on the phone to help me. My calls keep getting dropped, even after being put on hold for hours. It’s really ridiculous that such a company with a poor customer service attitude will be in charge of a card for seniors and disability. I am not alone. See all the complaints here – https://directexpresshelp.com/us-direct-express-customer-service/. Social Security needs to do something about it.

      Reply
      • Anita U

        I despise Direct Express. I spent days and numerous hrs calling them just to be hung up on. Some organization I’ve never heard of, some how got my card info and keeps taking my money but I can’t get anyone to answer the damn phone. I’m ready to be evicted thanks to these a**holes.
        SSA are worse they refuse to do anything at all. I’m ready to snap.

        Reply
  7. Nanci Herrman

    I am a victim of id theft and fraud I have been
    waiting for all my benefits I do not have a 3rd party or repetitive nor had ever I am able to handle all my financial affairs , i have not received my Direct Express card even though Ive asked for it and sign online for it . how can i get help someone may have hacked in my computer. please help me still no Stimulus check

    Reply
  8. Karin Malzan Phifer

    I have been waiting since last Wednesday for my first deposit. I can’t get through to the Hoquiam office via phone. What can I do?

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Karin, thank you for using our blog. The birthday of the person whose record you receive benefits under determines your payment date:
      Date of Birth Payment Day:
      1st through 10th Second Wednesday
      11th through 20th Third Wednesday
      21st through 31st Fourth Wednesday

      Check out our Schedule of Social Security Payments for the payment dates.

      If you do not receive your Social Security or SSI benefit, please contact your bank or financial institution first. They may be able to determine if your direct deposit failed. If you still need to report a late, missing or stolen Social Security payment, call us toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
  9. Charlotte West

    I have been trying to contact ssa for over a week regarding my direct deposit. There is a problem that I need fixed prior to my check due on the third.

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Charlotte, thanks for using our blog. You can call your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
  10. Gloria Burchfield

    My brother and his wife passed away on Nov. 08, 2020. Their soc. sec. payments were auto deposited to their bank account on Nov. 25, 2020. Do those payments need to be returned to Soc. Sec.? Or are those payments from October? I am administrator of their affairs.

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Vonda

      We are very sorry for your loss, Gloria. To be eligible for a Social Security benefit payment, a person has to live throughout the entire month. We can’t pay benefits for the month of death. If the deceased was receiving Social Security benefits, you must return the benefit received for the month of death or any later months. Keep in mind that Social Security benefits are paid the month after they are due. Your brother and his wife passed away in November, so you must return any benefits paid in December and continuing.

      Typically, the funeral director notifies us of an individual’s passing by contacting the local Social Security office. To verify this information was reported, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information.

      Check out our Factsheet on How Social Security Can Help When a Family Member Dies.

      Reply
    • Mickey Kaye Mann

      Yes,is online inquiry vietnam veterans only the socialsecurity mentioned online today in inquiry are just veterans or is social payments mention for clients and veterans at the same time you apply.

      Reply

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