Frequently Asked Questions

What is Go Direct®?

Go Direct® is a national campaign designed to motivate more Americans to select direct deposit for their Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), VA Compensation and Pension and other federal benefit payments. The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Banks are sponsoring the campaign.

The campaign reaches out to people through organizations and people they know and trust — such as financial institutions and community-based groups — to inform them about the benefits of direct deposit, and help them sign up for it.

The campaign also includes media outreach, direct mail and Web sites in English ( and Spanish (

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 signup online for direct deposit right now by visiting

Who is Go Direct® for?

The campaign's message is focused on Americans who receive Social Security, SSI and VA Compensation and Pension payments. These two groups receive the largest number of benefit payments by check.

Why is direct deposit a good idea?

Direct deposit is safer than mailing checks. When there's a problem with a Social Security payment, nine times out of 10 it's with a paper check, not a direct deposit payment.

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 Go Direct® Customer Service at (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 about changing your existing direct deposit.

Should taxpayers care about direct deposit?

Yes. The Treasury issues more than 140 million benefit checks annually. If all those were converted to direct deposit, it would save taxpayers more than $130 million annually. Almost all the money saved remains in the Social Security Trust Fund.

Why is a direct deposit campaign important now?

Promoting direct deposit is more important than ever now that the first wave of baby boomers are starting to become eligible for retirement benefits.

The Treasury recognizes that it is important to take action now. The vast majority of the money saved on postage, printing and other costs as a result of Go Direct® will be used to cover the costs of future Social Security payments.

How many federal benefit recipients use direct deposit?

Today, about 83 percent of federal benefit payments are made by direct deposit.

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

For Social Security and SSI recipients without bank accounts, 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. For all other Federal benefit payment types contact a bank or credit union in your area to discuss your banking account options.

I just entered the check number for direct deposit enrollment. 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 you federal benefit check by mail next month, please call Go Direct® Customer Service — Mon - Fri 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET (excluding federal holidays): (877) 874-6347