The Check's Not in the Mail: Getting Paid for SSDI

If you are in the process of applying for Social Security benefits, you might want to know what to expect in terms of payment. The SSA no longer issues paper checks to approved recipients, so read to learn more about two ways you can get paid Social Security benefits.

Use a Bank Account

Many employers make the use of direct deposit a requirement of employment and the SSA does too. In fact, no government benefits agency sends out paper checks anymore, be it the SSA, the Veteran's Administration, the military or any other agency. Sending paper checks is more expensive and not as secure. Instead, you can use a checking bank or credit union account. As a quick reminder about direct deposit, the funds are deposited on a certain date each month and are available for immediate use. You can then write checks or use a debit card to withdraw cash and purchase things.

Direct Deposit

To get things started, you will need to provide the US Treasury Department (who is in charge of issuing benefit payments) with information about your account. For example, you should be prepared to submit your checking account number, routing number, and other personal information needed to identify you and where you want the money to go. You can get your payments started by either applying online, by mail or by visiting a local SSA office.

Direct Express Debit Card

As an alternative to a bank account, you can also request a special debit card from the US Treasury Department. Direct Express cards can be used without a bank account and there are no credit checks needed. These cards are what is known as prepaid cards, which means they are "loaded" automatically each month on your payment date. You can use these cards to get cash out of an ATM to pay for goods and services, to buy money orders, and to pay any bill that accepts credit cards. There is never a fee to use Direct Express cards. The Direct Express debit card is not the same thing as a credit card; you must have the funds on the account to use it. There is a number on the back of the card (toll-free) to call and check the balance.

Unfortunately, you only need to be concerned about getting paid by the SSA if you are approved for benefits, which is not guaranteed. Fortunately, all applicants are entitled to appeal any adversary rulings about their benefits and to use a Social Security lawyer to help them. Talk to a Social Security attorney today about how you can get help with no upfront legal fees required.