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Social Security's Paperless Transition

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sasha031 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-04-11 10:37 PM
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Social Security's Paperless Transition
As of May 1, new applicants for Social Security benefits will not be able to receive paper checks. The move is part of Social Security's gradual transition from paper checks to electronic banking, which will save the government about $1 billion over 10 years. The transition, which will be completed by March 2013, will also save 12 million pounds of paper in the first five years. But some people, like the commenters at Consumerist, have raised questions about whether the switch to direct deposit (or Visa-branded debit cards) will actually cost users.

It seems these concerns have some merit to them. Just a quick look at the Social Security site reveals that SS debit card users can be charged fees for things like ATM cash withdrawals. Users only get one free ATM withdrawal each month. After that, each withdrawal is $.90, and that's assuming the user has easy access to one of SS's in-network ATMs. Users can, however, get cash-back-with-purchase for free, as well as cash from a bank. Theoretically, the card should debit funds so quickly that users cannot overdraw their funds, but it's unclear whether this would hold true in practice.
http://motherjones.com/blue-marble/2011/05/social-secur... |+The+Blue+Marble%29&utm_content=Twitter
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-04-11 10:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. I like direct deposit and understand that there will be some that can't do it.
And if they can't do it the ATM debit is not likely to be a good way unless reduce fees, preferably to nothing.
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jul61252 Donating Member (50 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. +1
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richmwill Donating Member (972 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-04-11 11:05 PM
Response to Original message
2. Ahem...
"easy access to one of SS's in-network ATMs."

My foot. I live an hour outside of New York City and a search of in-network ATMs when I got my Social Security debit card showed a grand total of zero in my area.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. I go into a bank with my card and my drivers license to cash my check.
No cost there. The ATM cost $3.00.
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Paper Roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-09-11 06:41 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Your own bank charges you $3.00 to use the ATM?
I'd raise a stink about that or change banks. Around here, ATM use is free at your own bank. Most other banks are part of a network that will not charge you if you use your card at their 'in network' facilities.
No other banks in your town? I'd sure check around before paying the bank a charge to use the machine for my own money!
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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-18-11 11:11 AM
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5. I have had direct deposit or my check since I first
started collecting 7 years ago. In my case, it was the best way to go. Plus, several times the postal carrier has put my mail in someone else's box, so I don't trust the U.S. mail.
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Philippine expat Donating Member (412 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-03-11 12:25 AM
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6. Should have happened years ago n/t
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Hangingon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-11 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. +1
I have been direct deposit on government pay checks and travel reimbursements since the '80s and never had a problem.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-11 02:18 AM
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8. I cash my check at the Kroger's supermarket.
No charge.
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