New Recipients of Federal Benefits to be Paid Electronically as of May 1. Federal benefits are going electronic, and paper checks are being phased out. On May 1, new applicants must select an electronic payment method. People receiving paper checks must switch by March 1, 2013. Payments can be made via direct deposit to a bank account or through a prepaid debit card. For more information, go to www.GoDirect.org or call 1-800-333-1795.

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