Beginning March 1st, the U.S. Treasury will stop issuing federal checks, like Disability or Social Security, forcing many beneficiaries to use a government issued debit card. However that change will allow some people without bank accounts to still receive checks.
Critics of the federal government’s move to make payments electronically instead of through paper checks say rural residents could be most impacted by the change.
However, in a statement from the U.S. Treasury, while beneficiaries are encouraged to switch to electronic payments, they do not have the authority to stop a person’s payments based on their failure to comply with the law. Rather: the expectation is that people comply with the requirement to the extent that they're able to.
The Department says the March 1st change-over will not bring major changes for people as over 93% of payments are already being made electronically. That's up from 85% in 2010.