Entries in Social Security (1)


Federal Benefits Going Paperless

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Federal benefits checks will soon be a thing of the past, as the government moves in the direction of paperless transactions.

Starting in May, paper checks will no longer be issued to people receiving the benefits, instead the money will be deposited into a bank account, and individuals will have to use a debit card to access their funds, according to a report in The New York Times.

The move may decrease theft, and would reportedly save the government approximately $120 million in yearly costs. Officials say in 2010, $93 million in Treasury checks were fraudulently endorsed and cashed, and the move to paperless benefits would prevent such occurrences, the Times reports. Another paperless benefit listed by officials, is that money will be available to people even in the event of natural disasters that would have prevented checks from being delivered by mail.

Some are concerned that the move will make accessing funds a challenge for those living in areas where there are not a lot of banks, and for people who have limited internet access or are not web savvy.

Officials say checks will continue to be mailed out to some areas, such as remote parts of Alaska and on some Indian reservations. Those receiving benefits outside the U.S. will also continue to receive checks in the mail.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio