If you apply for Social Security disability benefits on or after March 1, 2011, SSA will require you to sign up for direct deposit or the Direct Express MasterCard.
If you’re already receiving benefits before March 1, 2011, you’ll have until March 1, 2013 to sign up for direct deposit. If you do nothing, you’ll be automatically enrolled in the Direct Express program.
If you think you want to sign up for the Direct Express card, be sure to read their frequently asked questions, and familiarize yourself with the fees you might be charged for using the card.
One of the main drawbacks to the Direct Express card is that it does not automatically send you a statement of your deposits and withdrawals like a bank does. This can make it difficult to keep track of your spending and deposits.
You can request that Direct Express send you a monthly paper statement, but there is a monthly fee, and you have to call them to sign up for this service. You can also go online if you have computer access and check your transaction history.
If you sign up for Direct Express, we recommend that you either sign up for the monthly statement or be sure to check your account transactions on a monthly basis on their website.
There is also some legitimate concern about the safety of the card.