When illness makes it impossible for you to work at your job, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may be able to lend some assistance. For workers who have paid enough into the SSA system, monthly payments may be provided after applicants go through a lengthy approval (or disapproval) process for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The SSA no longer provides recipients with paper checks, and there is only one way to receive your monthly payments once you get approved. Read on to learn more.
Why No More Paper Checks?
The way the SSA previously provided benefits was prone to many problems. Checks might get lost in the mail, for example, putting the recipient in dire circumstance. Also, recipients might have had trouble cashing their checks or they might have been more at risk for losses or being cheated. Now, direct deposit is the way to go. It's not just faster than sending paper checks, but it also lessens the risk for recipients.
Recipients Must Have a Bank Account
Before you receive your first check from the SSA, you must be ready with a checking account at a financial institution (you may already have an account ). Both banks and credit unions can provide accounts to SSA recipients. Try to use a bank with a convenient location or automatic teller machine (ATM) nearby. If you are opening a new account, be sure you understand what fees can be charged for using the account, if any.
Use Go Direct to Sign Up
A separate arm of the SSA known as Go Direct handles the direct deposits for the SSA. You can have an SSA agent assist you in setting up a Go Direct account at your local office, or you can access the Go Direct website to set up your account. The set-up process lets the SSA know where to send your monthly checks.
Using a Direct Express Card
To remove funds from your bank account after the SSA payments begin, you will be using a Direct Express debit card. This card is provided to anyone registered with Go Direct. It can be used at almost any ATM, and no fees are charged to you for using it. SSA recipients can also use the Direct Express card at any business that accepts credit or debit cards. Recipients can learn how much money they have in their account at any time by calling the toll free number on the back of the card.
Getting approved can be a long process, and most successful recipients have to go through an appeal hearing before they got benefits. You don't have to go through anything alone. Speak to a Social Security attorney for help with your application, getting your bank account set up, and for support at an appeal hearing.