WASHINGTON (12/22/10)--The U.S. Treasury this week finalized a rule that will require all federal benefits that are filed on or after March 1, 2011 to be paid electronically via the Go Direct program. Those that currently receive paper checks will need to switch to direct deposit by March 1, 2013, the Treasury added. The Treasury has also created a Go Direct public education campaign to provide information on the benefit payment changes and to inform recipients of how they can change to direct deposit via an online portal or a toll-free helpline. Treasury Fiscal Assistant Secretary Richard Gregg in a release noted that eight in 10 federal benefit recipients already use direct deposit. “Now millions of additional retirees, veterans and other Americans will also receive their money in the safest, most reliable way--electronically," he added. The change to electronic benefit distribution “will provide significant savings to American taxpayers who will no longer incur the annual $120 million price tag associated with paper checks and will save Social Security $1 billion over the next 10 years," Gregg added. Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Veterans Affairs, Railroad Retirement Board, Office of Personnel Management benefits and other non-tax payments will be made via the Go Direct program. The Treasury has also promoted Go Direct as one of many ways that senior citizens and other individuals can protect their money from financial crimes such as check theft and fraud. For the Treasury’s release, use the resource link.