How To Get Direct Deposit Set Up For My Benefits [Step-By-Step Process]

Once you are approved to receive benefits from the SSA you may have the option to set up a direct deposit. 

This feature allows you to receive your payments directly into your account. It can save you time by cutting out a trip to the bank to deposit a check. 

How can you set up this feature? Are there any fees involved? This article will answer those questions. 

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How Does Direct Deposit Work

Direct deposit is a method of transferring money from one individual or organization to another. No check, cash, or physical mail is sent to the person receiving the money. When using direct deposit you allow someone to electronically transfer money to your bank account. 

Instead of having to wait for a check and then go to the bank you receive the money immediately. Direct deposit can save you time and reduce the hassle involved in accepting payments. 

Usually, a direct deposit takes 1-3 days to arrive in your account. Direct deposit is used to receive wages, pay employees or subcontractors, and send/receive SSA benefits. 

Payments that can be made by direct deposit:

  1. Payroll 
  2. Benefits checks from the federal government
  3. Benefits from state governments 
  4. Pension payments 
  5. Income from investments 
  6. Tax refund (sometimes)
  7. Business travel advances 
  8. Tuition reimbursements (sometimes)

Direct deposit is used almost worldwide. It has many benefits which is why it’s one of the most popular ways to receive money. 

How Does Direct Deposit Work When Accepting SSA Payments

You can accept your benefits and SSA payments through direct deposit. You can use direct deposit to accept money through your bank account or onto a Direct Express Mastercard. 

When applying for any benefits, the SSA will collect your personal and financial information. This will be used to process your payments later. 

Is Direct Deposit A Secure Way To Receive My Payments

Direct deposit offers many security features. Because the funds are transferred directly into your account there is no risk of someone stealing the money. With a check, the envelope must pass through multiple people’s hands before it reaches your doorstep. With direct deposit, you don’t need to worry about theft, lost mail, or misplacing the check. 

Direct deposits are very reliable. They arrive faster than checks and do not rely on a postal system so you can rest assured your payments will arrive safely in your account on the agreed-upon date. 

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Direct deposits offer flexible deposit options. You can deposit the payment into your savings or checking account. If you need to change the account number or bank you can do so quickly. 

Direct deposits are also fast and convenient. You do not need to plan a trip to the bank to deposit a physical check anymore. The money is automatically deposited into the account you chose. 

When Will I Use Direct Deposit 

Direct deposit will be used when accepting any SSA payments. You do not have to use direct deposit to receive your benefits but it is very convenient and safe. 

When applying for some benefits, you will see a bank account information section. This is where you can enter your personal and financial information to receive your benefit payments. 

It is actually more common for people to receive their SSA payments by direct deposit. In some cases, the SSA may send a physical check to someone, but it is becoming increasingly rare. Most payments are made by direct deposit or direct express debit card. 

Can I Set Up Direct Deposit To A Non-U.S. Bank Account

Yes, if you live abroad you should be able to set up a direct deposit to receive your SSA payments to a foreign account. Make sure your bank can accept international transfers and doesn’t charge high fees. This option can include currency conversion fees and a bit of hassle to set up. 

To set up direct deposit you need to fill out a form to enroll in International Direct Deposit (IDD). The form is SSA-1199 followed by the letters of your country’s name. You must meet certain requirements and update the SSA if you move back to the U.S. 

For example, to set up an international direct deposit to Canada you need to fill out form SSA-1199-Cn. Or to apply for international direct deposit to Denmark you need to fill out form SSA-119-DN. Click this link to view the list of International Direct Deposit forms. 

However, if you live in Cuba or South Korea you cannot receive any payments from the SSA. There are other restricted countries where you may not be able to receive your SSA payments. Visit the “How To Change My Address” article to see the lists of accepted countries and countries that are not accepted. 

It may be a good idea to continue using a U.S. bank account. Make sure to select a bank that understands you operate internationally and can meet your needs. Make sure your bank knows you live abroad and will be accessing the funds in different countries. 

When you travel, notify your bank you are traveling. One time my card was shut down while I was in Europe because my bank thought my card had been stolen. Lesson learned, contact the bank before an international vacation! A quick call or email should do the trick. 

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Is There A Fee To Use Direct Deposit

Usually, there is no fee to use direct deposit. When sending money to someone or receiving your payments you should not have to pay a fee. 

The only time a fee may be taken is if your money is deposited into a foreign bank account. In this case, conversion fees may be taken and the conversion rate may not be in your favor. If you are going to be receiving money from the SSA to a foreign bank account make sure to check the international transfer fees and conversion rates. 

How Do I Set Up Direct Deposit Online 

To set up a Direct deposit you can log into your my Social Security account and enroll from your account. 

Follow the steps below to set up Direct Deposit through your my Social Security account:

  1. Log into your my Social Security account
  2. Go to the “Benefits and Payment Details” link (right side of the screen)
  3. Scroll down and click the “Update Direct Deposit” button 
  4. Chose if you are the owner or co-owner
  5. Enter your bank account info
  6. Select “Next
  7. Read over all the information you entered 
  8. Select “Submit
  9. Click “Done
  10. You can choose to schedule when your direct deposit information changes if you would like. 

If you do not have a my Social Security account you can enroll online through the Go Direct website. 

Follow the steps below:

  1. Make sure to have your bank account information ready. 
  2. To set up Direct Deposits online you need to visit Go Direct. Click the link here to visit their site. 
  3. On this site, you can select the payment option you would like and follow the directions to set up your direct deposits. 
  4. Once you select the payment option you would like, you will be brought to an enrollment page. Make sure to agree to the terms of use and security notice. 
  5. Click the “For the general public – Individual Benefit Recipients or Rep Payees” button. 
  6. Fill out the boxes that request your Paying Agency, Check number, Payment Type, and Check Amount. 
  7. Complete the Benefit Recipient Information 
  8. Complete the Direct Deposit Information 
  9. Complete the Payee Information 
  10. Read over all the information you entered
  11. Click “Confirm and Agree”
  12. Wait until the web page finishes loading. 

If you are shown an error message or you are unable to enroll in Direct Deposit online contact the SSA by phone to receive assistance. 

When Can I Expect My Payments To Be Deposited

When you get your direct deposit payment can depend on the benefit you receive. Social Security payments are usually made on the second, third, or fourth Wednesday of each month. 

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The day you receive your payment can depend on your birth date as well. If you were born from the 1st to the 10th of the month your check should be paid on the second Wednesday of each month.

If you were born from the 11th to the 20th of the month then you can expect to receive your payment on the third Wednesday of each month.  And finally, if you were born from the 21st to the 31st you can expect to get your payments on the fourth Wednesday of each month. 

Click this link to view the SSA’s 2021 payment schedule. You can also search Google or another search engine for the current year’s SSA payment schedule. 

What If I Did Not Set It Up Correctly 

Usually, if you do not put your information incorrectly the page will show an error. 

However, if you do submit the wrong account information and the website accepts the submission you will need to correct the error. You can do this by logging into your my Social Security account and changing your Direct Deposit information again. 

If you do not have a my Social Security account you can contact the SSA by phone to notify them of the issue and learn how to correct it. You could also contact the Treasury’s Electronic Payment Solution Center at 1-800-333-1795.

Where Can I Get Help Setting Up Direct Deposit

If you are having trouble setting up your direct deposits you can contact the SSA or visit a local office near you. An SSA agent can help walk you through the process and confirm the direct deposit payment method is set up. 

Call 1-800-772-1213 or TTY number, 1-800-325-0778 to speak with an SSA agent. You can also call the Treasury’s Electronic Payment Solution Center at 1-800-333-1795.

You can find a location close to you by searching your zip code in this locator. 

Make sure to call ahead of time and book an appointment. You may not receive service if you show up to the Social Security office without an appointment. 

Avoid Phone Scammers 

Please be careful when taking ANY phone call about your Social Security benefits!!! Unfortunately, there are quite a few scams related to Social Security numbers. A Social Security officer will NEVER threaten you or say you will go to jail if you do not give them your personal information. 

If you receive a phone call where someone says “there is a charge against you, you will go to jail if you do not pay money or give us your information” that is a scam! Hang up!  

As always, I hope you found this article helpful.