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Emergency Preparedness for Seniors – Taking It to the Bank

Though it may seem obvious to those who are now so immersed in the e-world of Google, Facebook, Twitter, and i-Phones, a natural disaster could quickly cause a long disruption to the devices and services we have come to know.  But, as 85,000 Hurricane Katrina survivors learned, not having your Federal benefits electronically deposited will cause unnecessary delays in the money Federal beneficiaries need each month.  When those 85,000 residents of the hurricane devastated area evacuated, they left behind checks that were delivered by the U.S Mail.  Had they already set up electronic payments, they would have been able to access those funds in the town where they evacuated.  Switching to electronic payments is one way to protect financially before disaster strikes. It also eliminates the risk of stolen checks.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury recommends two safe ways to get federal benefits:

  • Direct deposit to a checking or savings account is the best option for people with bank accounts. Federal benefit recipients can sign up by calling (800) 333-1795 or at Go Direct.
  • The Direct Express® prepaid debit card is designed as a safe and easy alternative to paper checks for people who don’t have a bank account. Sign up is easy – call toll-free at (877) 212-9991 or sign up online at US Direct Express.

If you or someone close to you is receiving Social Security or other federal benefits by check, please consider switching to one of these safer, easier options today.