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Plan ahead for emergencies when you use direct deposit




It’s that time of year again. Hurricane season is upon us. In some places it’s wildfire season. In other places, towns are dealing with the threat, or the aftermath, of tornadoes and floods. If you’re in the path of one of these potential disasters, hopefully, you’ve planned for it by signing up for direct deposit.

During an emergency, you don’t want your Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) check to be dependent on home delivery. With direct deposit you’ll know your money is safe in your bank account no matter what happens to interrupt mail service.

Even under ordinary circumstances, direct deposit is the way to go. It’s safe, it’s quick and it’s convenient.

With direct deposit, your money goes directly into your account at your bank or financial institution. Because your funds are transferred electronically, there’s no risk of your check being lost or stolen. Payment is faster when it’s deposited directly into your bank and your money is immediately available. Whether you’re at home or away from home on the day of payment, you know your money is safe in your bank account instead of sitting unsecured in your mailbox.

Don’t have a bank account? Direct express is for you. Direct express is designed for people without bank accounts and it works like a debit card. Payments are loaded onto the card and are immediately available. With direct express you can use the card to get cash or to purchase items.

With either direct deposit or direct express, there’s no need to leave your house when the weather is bad or to stand in line at the bank. When you’re away from home, it’s comforting to know your payment is in the bank instead of the mailbox.

When faced with an emergency, there’s no question about where you’ll find your payment when it’s directly deposited into your bank. The same cannot be said for paper checks. What if mail delivery is interrupted in your neighborhood after a disaster — just when you need your funds the most?

To learn more about direct deposit of your benefit payments and to sign up, visit our website at www.socialsecurity.gov/deposit.

Of course, you can also start or change direct deposit services by:

• Using our automated phone service at 1-800-772- 1213;

• Filling out a direct deposit sign-up form that is available from the Social Security website and taking it to your financial institution or Social Security office; or

• Contacting your bank, credit union or savings and loan association.

So whatever the weather, put direct deposit or direct express on your list of things to do. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov or call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800- 325-0778). Or, go directly to www.godirect.gov or www.fms.treas.gov/ directexpresscard.


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