BY: Thomas Joraanstad

The Department of the Treasury issued a new rule that will eliminate paper checks for most federal benefits, including Veterans Affairs benefits.  Paper checks for benefits will end completely by March 1, 2013.

According to the Department of Treasury, the new rule is designed to save money and reduce waste. Furthermore, the new rule will improve the safety of veterans’ benefits as well as make receiving the benefits more convenient for veterans. Eric K. Shinseki, the Secretary for Veterans Affairs, commented that the new rule will “increase the security, convenience, and reliability” of veterans’ benefits.

Veterans who do not switch to direct deposit by the deadline will still receive their benefits. However, instead of a paper check, they will receive a pre-paid debit card. Although this may seem like a drastic change, most veterans are already on direct deposit. In fact, even homeless veterans frequently use direct deposit.

Those on direct deposit will see no change in how their benefits are delivered. Veterans Service Organizations are encouraged to reach out to the veterans with whom they work to inform them of this change and help the veterans establish direct deposit if necessary.

For more information about this program, veterans can visit www.GoDirect.org . Veterans can always switch to direct deposit with this website. As always, more information about veterans benefits can be found at www.va.gov or 1-800-827-1000.

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