Originally Published: August 16, 2010 10 p.m.
These days, almost everyone gets their benefit payment by direct deposit. Whether you receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you can depend on your payment arriving in your account on time, every time. If you don't already have direct deposit, there are good reasons to sign up.
For one, less money and time spent driving to the bank to cash your check helps you save.
Second, fewer paper checks, envelopes, and stamps, and less fuel to deliver the checks means less waste and pollution for the environment.
Hurricane season is here for some areas. Other areas bear the brunt of flooding. Some areas of the nation are plagued by tornadoes, and still others must deal with wildfires, severe thunderstorms, or even earthquakes. If you are unfortunate enough to be in the line of a natural disaster, the last thing you want is for your income to be interrupted because of an evacuation or a missing mailbox. With direct deposit, you know your payment will be in your account on time no matter what.
When on vacation, direct deposit ensures payments will be deposited into your account on time, so there's no reason to worry about the safety of your benefit or to ask a neighbor to look out for your check when you are away.
As an added bonus, many banks offer free checking accounts for people who use direct deposit because it saves the bank the cost of processing paper payments. Plus, the payment probably will show up in your bank account sooner than a paper check will appear in the mailbox ... and there's no need to cash it. It's already in the bank.
Skip the line at the bank, save money, get your payment faster and know you can depend on your payment being in the bank no matter what. You can do all of this with direct deposit. Learn more about it at www.socialsecurity.gov/deposit.
Iris Greene is the Social Security District Manager in Prescott.