With less than four months remaining until the March 1, deadline for all-electronic federal benefit payments, the U.S. Department of the Treasury is urging the Oklahoma federal benefit recipients, who still receive 61,000 paper checks each month, to switch now to direct deposit or the Treasury-recommended Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® card.

There are many advantages to switching to electronic payments, not only for people who receive federal benefits, but for American taxpayers as well. Benefits include:

1. The transition will save taxpayers $1 billion over 10 years

2. Electronic payments are safer than paper checks. Last year alone, more than 440,000 Social Security and Supplemental Security Incom3. checks were reported lost or stolen.

3. Electronic payments are more convenient than paper checks – federal benefit recipients don't need to visit a financial institution to cash or deposit a check to gain access to their money.

If federal benefit recipients do not have a bank account, they can choose to receive their payments on the Direct Express® card. There are no fees to sign up for the card, no monthly fees or overdraft fees.

More information on the transition to electronic federal benefits payments can be found at www.GoDirect.org.