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Frequently Asked Questions


What is Go Direct®?

Go Direct®was initiated by Treasury and the Federal Reserve Banks in 2004 to encourage federal benefit check recipients to switch to direct deposit. The campaign became a public education effort in 2010 with the posting of 31 CFR Part 208, Treasury's regulation that required electronic federal benefits. While the campaign is no longer actively working to inform Americans about the requirement, this website remains a resource operated by Bureau of the Fiscal Service.

What is direct deposit?

With direct deposit, your money goes straight into your account at the same time each month, thus giving you more control over your money. It eliminates the risk of stolen checks and forged signatures and helps protect you from identity theft.

Direct deposit also provides immediate access to your money from virtually anywhere.

I would like to sign up for direct deposit, what do I do?

You can sign up online for direct deposit right now by visitingGoDirect.gov.

Why is direct deposit a good idea?

Direct deposit is safer than mailing checks. In fact, beneficiaries are 125 times more likely to have a problem with a paper check than with an electronic payment like direct deposit.

It's easier than checks, because people who get benefits don't need to go to the bank or credit union to deposit a check. Their payment goes straight into their account on payment day each month, giving people more control over their money.

Plus, direct deposit allows immediate access to funds from virtually anywhere. It's easy to sign up for direct deposit, and it only takes a few minutes — call the U.S. Treasury Electronic Payment Solution Centerat (800) 333-1795 or Enroll online. You also can sign up at a bank, credit union, or local Social Security office.

How do I make changes to my existing direct deposit?

You can use Go Direct®only if you currently receive your Federal benefit payments by check and you want to begin receiving your benefits by Direct Deposit instead.

If you are already receiving your Federal benefit payment by Direct Deposit, and would like to have your payments sent to a new or different account, you should call the Federal agency that pays your benefits.

Visit our page aboutchanging your existing direct deposit.

How many federal benefit recipients use direct deposit?

The majority of federal benefit payments are made by direct deposit. As of March 1, 2013, nearly 95 percent of payments were made electronically.

What if I receive a federal benefit and I don't have a checking or savings account?

Treasury recommends signing up for the Direct Express® Debit MasterCard®. The Direct Express®card is a prepaid debit card that offers another safe and convenient alternative to paper checks. Call (800) 333-1795 to sign up for the card.

I just completed my enrollment online using my current check number. What do I do with my current check?

Please deposit or cash your federal benefit check as you normally would. Direct deposit can take 1 to 2 payment cycles to take effect. You may receive one or more paper checks before the direct deposit takes effect.

I signed up for direct deposit last month, but I received my federal benefit check in the mail this month. What do I do?

Direct deposit can take 1 to 2 payment cycles to take effect. Please deposit or cash your federal benefit check as you always have. If however, you receive your federal benefit check by mail next month, please call the U.S. Treasury Electronic Payment Solution Center Mon - Fri 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET(excluding federal holidays):(877) 874-6347.

I have additional questions — where can I find more information?

Visit https://fiscal.treasury.gov/GoDirect/ for more information.

Beginning of help description tool-tip. It begins with a heading 5 called “Bank Account Number”. Required field.
Bank Account Number

See the example image.

The bank account number can be found in the lower left-hand section, to the right of the bank routing number.
Beginning of help description tool-tip. It begins with a heading 5 called “Bank Account Number”. Required field.
Bank Account Number

See the example image.

The bank account number can be found in the lower left-hand section, to the right of the bank routing number.
Beginning of help description tool-tip. It begins with a heading 5 called “Bank Routing Number”. Required field.
Bank Routing Number

See the example image.

The routing number can be found in the lower left-hand section.
Beginning of help description tool-tip. It begins with a heading 5 called “Bank Account Number”. Required field.
Bank Account Number

See the example image.

The bank account number can be found in the lower left-hand section, to the right of the bank routing number.
Beginning of help description tool-tip. It begins with a heading 5 called “Bank Account Number”. Required field.
Bank Account Number

See the example image.

The bank account number can be found in the lower left-hand section, to the right of the bank routing number.
Beginning of help description tool-tip. It begins with a heading 5 called “Bank Routing Number”. Required field.
Bank Routing Number

See the example image.

The routing number can be found in the lower left-hand section.
Beginning of help description tool-tip. It begins with a heading 5 called “Check Number”. Required field.
Check Number

See the example image.

The check number can be found in the upper right-hand section.
Beginning of help description tool-tip. It begins with a heading 5 called “Claim Number”. Required field.
Claim Number

See the example image.

The claim number can be found on a Medicare card or 1099 form.
Beginning of help description tool-tip. It begins with a heading 5 called “Payment Amount”. Required field.
Payment Amount

See the example image.

The amount can be found directly below the check number.
Beginning of help description tool-tip. It begins with a heading 5 called “Benefit Recipient First Name”. Required field.
Benefit Recipient First Name

See the example image.

The first name can be found in the “Pay To The Order” section.
Beginning of help description tool-tip. It begins with a heading 5 called “Benefit Recipient Middle Name”. Only required if present on check.
Checking Account Number

See the example image.

The middle name immediately follows the first name.
Beginning of help description tool-tip. It begins with a heading 5 called “Benefit Recipient Last Name”. Required field.
Checking Account Number

See the example image.

The last name immediately follows the first name or middle name when present.
Beginning of help description tool-tip. It begins with a heading 5 called “Benefit Recipient Suffix”. Only required if present on check.
Checking Account Number

See the example image.

The suffix immediately follows the last name.
Beginning of help description tool-tip. It begins with a heading 5 called “Representative Payee”. Only required if present on check.
Representative Payee

See the example image.

The Representative Payee is the proceeding name before the Benefit Recipient's name.
Beginning of help description tool-tip. It begins with a heading 5 called “Benefit Recipient Address”. Required field.
Benefit Recipient Address

See the example image.

The address can be found directly under the Benefit Recipient's name.
Beginning of help description tool-tip. It begins with a heading 5 called “International Addresses”. Optional field.
International Addresses

Is this an international address?

SSA recipients check here to denote this is an international address if you live outside of the U.S., Puerto Rico, or a U.S. Territory.

NOTICE: Go Direct can only enroll payments with International addresses for recipients of Social Security benefits. If you receive any other benefit payment type and reside internationally, or do not have an account with a U.S. bank or credit union, you may not enroll online through Go Direct. For more information on how to complete your international enrollment please click here. More information...

Social Security recipients:

If you live outside the United States but do not have an account with a U.S. bank or credit union you may write the Social Security Administration at: Social Security Administration Office of International Operations P.O. Box 17775 Baltimore, Maryland 21235-7775 for more information on international payment options. Or visit them online at:

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10137.html or
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/foreign/

Veterans Compensation and Pension recipients:

If you live outside the United States and want to sign up for direct deposit please contact the VA at: http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/foreign/forfaq.htm

Office of Personnel Management (Civil Service) benefit recipients:

Retirees, annuitants, and survivor annuitants already receiving benefits, but living outside the United States that want to sign up for direct deposit please contact the Office of Personnel Management (Civil Service) by calling1 (888) 767-6738.

Railroad Retirement Board:

Recipients already receiving Railroad Retirement (RRB) benefits, but living outside the United States that want to sign up for direct deposit please contact the nearest Railroad Retirement Board office or call the Railroad Retirement Board at 1-877-772-5772. For instructions on International Direct Deposits visit RRB online at:

http://www.rrb.gov/PandS/IDD.asp or download the International Direct Deposit Form
http://www.rrb.gov/pdf/PandS/OF_1199I.pdf

Department of Labor benefit recipients:

A toll-free number has been designated for each of the nine Division of Coal Mine Workers' Compensation district offices. Visit the Department of Labor web site. For a list of district offices and their phone numbers.

Beginning of help description tool-tip. It begins with a heading 5 called “Corporation Acting As Representative Payee”. Only required if acting as representative payee.
Corporation Acting As Representative Payee

Check this option if you represent a corporation which is acting as a representative payee.

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