Veterans receiving payments from VA need to switch to direct deposit

| January 30, 2013

COSHOCTON – Veterans who are currently receiving compensation and/or pension benefit payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are urged to sign up for direct deposits as the deadline to do so is quickly approaching.

The VA is phasing out paper checks by Friday, March 1.

If recipients already have a bank account for direct deposit, or would like to change the account to which the payment is deposited, they may call the VA at 1-877-838-2778.

Those without a current bank account can establish direct deposit through the federal government’s “Go Direct” at 1-800-333-1795.

Callers must need the name of the banking institution; account number; routing number; whether the account is checking or savings; and the amount of their last check and the 12-digit federal benefit check number which is located in the upper right hand corner of the check. There is no charge for these services.

“While veterans may be able to establish direct deposit by calling one of the numbers listed, they may also visit our office if they need assistance,” said Coshocton County Veterans Service Officer Jim Barstow. “We are glad to provide help to those who need it. Also, by visiting our office, it would a good opportunity to discuss any other benefits they may be entitled to.”

The change will also affect recipients of payments from Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Railroad Retirement Board or Office of Personnel Management.

Veterans who do not choose an electronic payment option by the March 1 deadline will be out of compliance with the law and will automatically receive their payments via the Direct Express Debit MasterCard.

The decision to phase out the issuance of paper checks is due to the fact that more than 540,000 Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) checks were reported lost or stolen in 2010 alone. Electronic payments are safer, easier and more reliable than paper checks. They also save taxpayer dollars.

To learn more about this and other VA benefits, contact the Veterans Service Office at 622-2313 or stop by the office at 318 Main St., in the Courthouse basement.

Category: Government

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