As of May 1st the U.S Treasury begins phasing out paper checks for Social Security, Veterans Administration and other Federal benefit payments. If you expect to be applying for any Federal benefits soon you'll need to choose an electronic payment option from day one. If you already receive benefits and rely on paper checks you'll have to make the switch by March 1st, of 2013. You can choose from either direct deposit or a, treasury recommended, pre-paid debit Mastercard. Treasury officials say that receiving money electronically is more reliable and safer. Michael Astrue is Commissioner of the Social Security Administration.

"Each year almost half a million Social Security checks are reported lost or stolen and the easiest way to avoid this is to use direct deposit."

In Wyoming, more than 35,000 baby boomers are expected to reach retirement age over the next five years and current federal benefit recipients in the state rely on more than 12,000 Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) paper check payments each month. The Treasury Department estimates that if everyone in Wyoming switched to electronic payment, approximately $135,000 would be saved each year.

They also anticipate at a federal level the savings to amount to around a billion dollars over the next 10 years.

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