– Q What are the benefits of using direct deposit or electronic payments?
A It’s safe, secure, convenient, your checks will not get lost in the mail, you choose the account where your payment is deposited; and you will get your benefits on time, even if you’re out of town or unable to get to the bank.
With few exceptions, nowadays, if you sign up for benefits, you must get your payments electronically. And if you are getting paper checks, you had switch to electronic payments by March 1. If you don’t have a bank account, you can use the Direct Express prepaid debit card to get Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments deposited directly into your account. Go to www.godirect.org.
Q I’m 65, not ready to retire, but I want to apply for my Medicare coverage. How can I do that?
A The easiest and most convenient way is to apply online. Use the online application to sign up for Medicare. It takes less than 10 minutes. In most cases, once your application is submitted electronically, you’re done. There are no forms to sign and usually no documentation is required. Social Security will process your application and contact you if we need more information. Otherwise you’ll receive your Medicare card in the mail. It’s convenient, quick and easy. There’s no need to drive to a local Social Security office or wait for an appointment with a Social Security representative. Get started today at www.socialsecurity.gov/medicareonly.
Have questions about Social Security benefits? Check out the Social Security FAQ at The Tampa Tribune.