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Change coming to disbursement of SSI benefits

Each month individuals throughout the state of New Jersey check their mail boxes for their Supplemental Security Income check. Come March 1 of this year that will change. While recipients will continue to receive those payments they will be in a different form. Paper checks will no longer be issued. Instead, the benefit amount will be deposited directly into the bank account of the recipient.

This change is not a sudden one. A campaign has been underway to get recipients to make the change since the end of 2010. In fact, nationwide approximately 93 percent of those who receive some type of federal benefit already access it in this manner. In the state of New Jersey, around 114,000 individuals still find their checks in their mailboxes.

The changeover is expected to save a total of $1 billion over the course of the next 10 years. There are other benefits as well. In addition to eliminating the possibility that a check could be lost before it is cashed or deposited, should a person unexpectedly have to move, such as in the case of a natural disaster, there will not be a delay in receiving the money.

The change to the direct deposit should make things easier for those who have obtained SSI benefits. Those who qualify not only have little in the way of income but also are either disabled or elderly which makes it impossible for them to work. Because individuals who find themselves needing these benefits are often in need of all the help they can get, many will likely welcome the new procedure.

Source: Asbury Park Press, "Ageless: Still getting paper checks from Social Security? The end is near," Michael L. Diamond, Jan. 10, 2013

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