Treasury recommends direct deposit

Published 16 May 2007

Hurricane season puts elderly and disabled at risk of not getting their checks

Although the federal government has spent millions on advertising advises people to stock up on emergency supplies, very few ever comply — but let’s see how they react when cash is at stake. With hurricane season approaching, the Treasury Department announced this week that it was advising residents of the Gulf Coast to sign up for direct deposit of federal benefits. Currently, more than three million Americans living in hurricane-prone states still receive Social Security and other payments by paper check — a major problem if there are disruptions in mail service or the resident evacuates to another address. Direct deposit would make it easy for them to access their payment from anywhere in the country. (Direct deposit also protects federal benefit recipients from the devastating effects of financial fraud and identity theft.) A good idea, we think, and not just for the elderly and disabled.