Social Security – Direct Express Debit Card Facts
As of September 2008, the Social Security Administration has issued a prepaid Direct Express credit card to 3.9 million people on Social Security and people with disabilities nationwide. The purpose of this card is to allow recipients without bank accounts, or those who may not want to receive a check in the mail, to now have a card that will automatically deposit their designated amount onto the debit card each month. This will prevent delays in the check coming in the mail, theft of paper checks, and sometimes a difficult time trying to get to the bank and cash it.
Who should apply? Anyone on Social Security or disability who likes the idea of having a debit card for their transactions instead of cashing their monthly check and using cash or having to write checks from their bank account. The Direct Express Debit Card is accepted wherever MasterCard is accepted and can also be used to withdraw cash from ATMs, shops and banks.
What if the Direct Express card is lost or stolen? This debit card is like any other debit card and you will have a personal PIN number to protect you if this is the case. You can call immediately to report this and your debit card will be replaced. It is also protected and insured by the FDIC.
Is the card worth anything? No, it’s free, with no monthly account fee and has free services such as: optional notifications of deposits made to your card by phone, text message or email, optional notifications when your balance drops below a certain level and once a month, no ATM fee withdraw at participating ATMs. There is also a toll free, 24/7 customer service number.
Are there any other fees? For certain things like ATM withdrawals after the first free it only costs $0.90. Other fees include a $0.50 bill payment fee each time you pay a bill, $0.75 for a monthly Direct Express card statement sent to you monthly, $4 for replacing a lost or stolen card each year, and $13.50 for overnight delivery exchanges, $1.50 to transfer funds to a US bank account, and $3 plus 3% of the transaction to withdraw funds from an international ATM.
How to get a Direct Express Card There is a toll-free number 1-877-212-9991 or an online registration site at http://www.USDirectExpress.com. You can also call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 from 7 am to 7 pm Monday through Friday and a representative will assist you. For the hearing impaired: 1-800-325-0778.
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