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Fact Sheets

Direct Deposit News Alert

Updated October 25, 2001

A number of people have called the U.S. Department of the Treasury with questions about health and delivery issues related to federal checks delivered through the U.S. Postal Service.

As a result of the recent terrorist attacks, many Americans are concerned about possible disruptions of postal service and of recent health issues associated with mail and are rethinking the way they conduct their personal financial business. Now may be a good time to consider the benefits of Direct Deposit, which would allow your federal payment to be deposited directly into your bank account. The majority of people receiving federal payments have already switched from paper checks to Direct Deposit. In fact, of the nearly 950 million federal payments Treasury issued in fiscal year 2001, three out of four were electronic. Individuals receiving Treasury checks, such as social security, veterans' benefits, or IRS tax refunds, should seriously consider the Direct Deposit option.

For those recipients currently without bank accounts, Treasury has designed a special low-cost Direct Deposit account, the Electronic Transfer Account (ETA). The ETA is available to all federal benefit recipients, even those who have had problems getting credit or qualifying for a checking or savings account. To find out more about opening an ETA, please call (888) 382-3311 (toll-free) or visit the ETA Web site at

"Check it Out" and sign up today for Direct Deposit!

For more information about enrolling for Direct Deposit, please contact the federal agency that pays you. The toll-free numbers are:

Social Security Administration (800) 772-1213
Department of Veterans Affairs (800) 827-1000
Office of Personnel Management (888) 767-6738 or (202) 606-0500
Internal Revenue Service (800) 829-1040
Railroad Retirement Board (800) 808-0772

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