Seeking disability benefits? Here’s How You Can Receive Payments

Seeking disability benefits? Here’s How You Can Receive Payments

As of March 1, 2013, U.S. law requires all Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income recipients get their payments electronically. Payment by check is no longer allowed, and if you are still receiving your disability payments by check, you are not in compliance.

How to Receive Social Security Disability Benefits Payments 

If you plan to apply for Social Securitydisability payments or any other federal benefit programs, make sure you are in compliance with electronic payment requirements. You may get a bank account to receive your payments via Direct Deposit in your bank account.

You can also choose to have your payments credited: 

  • directly into a credit union account ;
  • to a Direct Express Debit MasterCard card account; or
  • into your Electronic Transfer Account (not all banks or financial institutions offer Electronic Transfer, check if your bank offers it).


An Electronic Transfer Account offers several benefits. It does not require a minimum balance, unless there’s a specific provision in the law that requires it, and it provides monthly statements for deposits and withdrawals. These are federally insured accounts that require you make at least four withdrawals every month. The cost of operating the account is a maximum of $3.00 per month.

Signing Up for Direct Deposit

If you currently receive disability benefits or any other Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits, you can sign up for Direct Deposit by logging into your my Social Security account. This is an online personal account, which you can use to change important details including your address and phone number, and check benefits as well as payment information. You can use your my Social Security account to start or change Direct Deposit options.

Alternatively, sign up via Social Security by calling toll-free at 800-772-1213, or fill out the Direct Deposit sign-up form and mail it to your local Social Security office.

If you don’t have a bank account, and do not want to open a new account, you can choose to have your payments credited by the Direct Express debit card. You can then use the card to make purchases at thousands of locations across the country. To sign up for the card, call Social Security’s Direct Express Hotline toll-free at 877-212-9991.

If you are not currently receiving federal benefit payments, but plan to apply for benefits, inform the Social Security Representative at the time of application that you want to sign up for Direct Deposit.

Are there exceptions to the electronic payment rule? 

The following persons can apply for an exception to the electronic payment rule, people: 

  • who live in a remote area with insufficient banking infrastructure;
  • who would find electronic payments an excessive hardship because of mental impairment ; and
  • born before or on May 1, 1921.

Need help with a Social Security disability application or appeal?

Speak with a Social Security disability lawyer at Rob Levine & Associates for help with your disability application or to appeal your disability claim denial. Call 866-LAW-SSDI to schedule a free evaluation of your case.

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