If you receive Social Security (SSA), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Veteran’s Compensations and Pension (VA-C&P), Civil Service Retirement/ Annuity (CSA), Civil Service Survivor Annuity (CSF), Rail Road Retirement/ Annuity Benefits (RRB), and/ or Railroad Retirement Unemployment/ Sickness Benefits (RRU), President Obama has made it official that as of March, 2013, all government benefits will be administered electronically. This is largely an effort to curb the theft of paper checks and to save around a $120 million in manufacturing, shipping and check cashing fees.
Most people who don’t have bank accounts are largely accustomed to the ritual of getting their check in the mail on the first of the month. You yourself maybe used to visiting your local teller, cashing your check at a local grocery store or at a check cashing service such as Money Box.
The inevitable switch to a paperless delivery of government benefits raises several paranoid attitudes. Many people are more comfortable with a paper check in hand, rather than having their funds go through a network of strangers.
Though getting your government benefits directly deposited may alter the sentimental practices of cashing a check, it opens the doors to other comforts and conveniences.
For one, the US Treasury spent $93 million in checks that were fraudulently endorsed and cashed in 2010. Also, electronically delivered funds will be available even if there is a disaster in the area, such as a hurricane, flood, tornado or any other emergency situation where an individual wouldn’t be able to access a bank.
Of course, many people who do get government benefits usually aren’t eligible to open up an account with major banks. A great alternative to those banks is AchieveCard. With AchieveCard, Direct Deposit and Cash Advances are free. You can still have the ritual of seeing teller at a major, only instead of cashing a check for a free, you would be getting a free cash advance.
A paperless future for government benefits is inevitable. When the time comes, having AchieveCard as your banking alternative is a step in the right direction.