Your Liability For Unauthorized Transactions
Tell us AT ONCE if you believe your Card or PIN has been lost or stolen. Telephoning us at the Customer Service number is the best way of keeping your possible losses down. You could lose all the money in your Card Account. If you tell us within two Business Days, you can lose no more than $50 if someone used your Card or PIN without your permission. If you do NOT tell us within two Business Days after you learn of the loss or theft of your Card or PIN, and we can prove that we could have stopped someone from using your Card or PIN without your permission if you had told us, you could lose as much as $500.
If you canât telephone us, you can write to us at Direct Express®, Payment Processing Services, PO Box 540190, Omaha, NE 68154-0190. If you are a California resident, you will not be liable for the $500 amount described above in any event. If you are a New York resident, your liability for the unauthorized use of the Card will not exceed $50.
Also, if the written Transaction history or other Card Transaction information provided to you shows transfers that you did not make, tell us at once. If you do not tell us within 120 days after the transfer allegedly in error was credited or debited to your Card Account, you may not get back any money you lost after the 120 days if we can prove that we could have stopped someone from taking the money if you had told us in time. If a good reason kept you from notifying us, we will extend the time periods.
Social Security Direct Express Cards Vs Credit Cards: Whats The Difference
The Social Security Direct Express card is like a debit card for your benefits.
Many people think that getting paper checks or direct deposits are the only ways to receive their Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits each month. However, there is a third option. The Social Security debit card is a prepaid card that recipients can use to access their benefits without having to worry about keeping a current bank account.
That said, there is some confusion surrounding these cards. Though you can use them to make purchases they are not . Below is a look at how Social Security Direct Express cards are different from credit cards, as well as the pros and cons of using one to receive your benefits.
Direct Express Cards Available
Catherine M. Callery | Louise M. Tarantino
Many Social Security and SSI recipients have encountered problems with receiving their monthly benefits in the mail or even by direct deposit into their bank accounts. Problems with lost or stolen paper checks are not uncommon, and of course, exempt Social Security and SSI checks supposedly protected in claimants bank accounts have nonetheless been subject to seizure by creditors.
The U.S. Treasurys optional Direct Express stored value/debit cards allow beneficiaries to receive their monthly payments without the hassles of paper checks or bank accounts. Since its inception in April 2008, the Direct Express card has attracted over 446,000 recipients. It can be used to make purchases and cash withdrawals wherever MasterCard debit cards are accepted, to obtain post office money orders, and to withdraw cash from ATMs.
The Direct Express card eliminates the expense of check cashing services, as well as the risk of stolen checks. It also substantially reduces the danger of exempt Social Security and SSI funds being garnished by creditors. Because the card can only be used to receive Social Security and SSI, exempt funds are never comingled with nonexempt funds. According to the Treasury Department, Comerica, the bank that operates the Direct Express system, will not allow a freeze or garnishment of the money on the cards, except to the extent allowed by federal law .
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The Us Department Of The Treasury Encourages Recipients To Consider The Direct Express Card
The U.S. Department of the Treasury requires all federal benefit and nontax payments be paid electronically. Anyone applying for benefits, must choose an electronic payment method at the time they apply for the benefit. Those already receiving federal benefits by paper check must contact their paying agency to switch to an electronic payment method. Benefit recipients can choose to receive their payments by direct deposit to the bank or credit union account of their choice or to a Direct ExpressÂ® Debit MasterCardÂ® card account.
For more information, please visit www.GoDirect.gov.
Locate The Nearest Atm
Direct Express® cardholders can get cash from ATMs worldwide wherever the MasterCard® acceptance mark is displayed. Some ATM owners apply a surcharge fee to use their ATMs. This fee is in addition to any other fees applied.
To locate the nearest MasterCard® ATM Click on the MasterCard® logo and you will be linked to their worldwide network of ATMs. Follow the web page instructions to narrow your search or simply enter your zip code and press enter.
Mastercard® ATM Alliance Location Search Instruction.
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What Else Can Direct Express Cards Do
Beyond allowing the acceptance of payments and direct use as prepaid debit cards, Direct Express users can also get cash from any ATM. Direct Express card carriers can also pay bills online or over the phone by giving the recipient their card number. It essentially works in the same way that other debit cards would.
All transactions have the same level of security as any debit card would. They can still be compromised if someone gets ahold of your PIN and CVV. In this case, its easy to contact Direct Express support to shut it down and get a replacement.
Direct Express Cards: Access Social Security And Other Federal Payments Without A Bank Account
Even if you dont have a bank account, you can quickly access your benefits with the Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® program. The Direct Express card is a prepaid debit card that allows federal benefit recipients to access their payments from any ATM that accepts Mastercard. Using the Direct Express card also means you dont have to keep a minimum balance on the card and there are no monthly fees or costs to sign up.
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Does The Card Have Any Restrictions
You can use the Direct Express Social Security debit card for most purchases, providing the retailer accepts MasterCard debit payments.
However, if you need to purchase gas, you can’t pay at the pump and must pay inside the gas station.
Another limitation is that if you use the card to rent a car, the rental agency places a hold on up to $500 of your balance. Although the funds are released when you return the vehicle, your money might not be available for up to two weeks.
Can My Spouse Or Child Receive Payments Based On My Ssdi Benefits
Yes, your spouse and/or children may be eligible for benefits based on your disability payments.
In general, a child who is under the age of 18, and unmarried is entitled to an average of 50% of his or her disabled parents SSDI payments.
Additionally, a spouse may receive SSDI payments as well if he or she either cares for minor children who are eligible for SSDI benefits, or is over the age of 62.
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Preventing Losses And Fraudulent Activity
It’s important to protect your Social Security debit card like you would any other credit or debit card or even your cash.
Keep your PIN safe, and don’t share it with others. If your Direct Express card is lost or stolen, you should report your missing card immediately by calling the customer service number on the back of the card, so it is wise to copy that number and keep it separate. Direct Express will replace your card so you can continue to access your account. The first replacement card each calendar year is free after that, theres a $4 fee to replace a missing card. Your replacement card should arrive in the mail within seven to 10 days.
Where You Can Use The Direct Express Card
The card is very easy to use when making purchases. All you need to do is present it anywhere Debit MasterCard is accepted.
Once the purchase is complete, the money is automatically deducted from your account.
You may also get cashback with your purchase at many merchant locations, including grocery stores, pharmacies, and some convenience stores.
Your card can also be used to make purchases online and pay bills with merchants that accept Debit MasterCard.
You also have the option to use the card to buy money orders at the U.S. Post Office or other locations that accept the card.
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What If The Card Is Lost Or Stolen
If your card is lost or stolen, it must be reported to customer service within two business days to limit your liability for losses to $50. After two days, you may be liable for up to $500 in losses. After 120 days, you may be liable for the full amount.
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What Is Direct Express How Do I Apply
If youre among the 21.3% of Americans who receive government financial benefits, a Direct Express card is a powerful tool that can help you manage money and keep your benefit funds secured.
You may have heard of this program before, but what is Direct Express, exactly? Read on to answer this question more thoroughly and to learn how a person can apply for this program.
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Problems Using Your Card
How Does It Work
The federal benefits are paid directly to your card on your monthly payment date. You wont have to wait for a check to arrive in the mail. If you have another bank account, you can transfer the funds to it, but you’ll pay a $1.50 fee for each transfer to a U.S. bank account. If you already have a bank account with a debit card, enrolling in direct deposit may a better option.
Your card comes with a personal identification number that you use to authorize transactions or withdrawals. You can also have your transactions processed as “credit” rather than “debit,” which means you sign for purchases instead, as you would with a credit card. The funds are still deducted from your balance, even when you choose the credit option.
Purchases, withdrawals, and transaction fees are deducted from your balance. Once youve spent all of the funds on the card, youll be unable to use it until you receive your next months benefits.
You can be assured that your money is safe: the funds in your account are FDIC-insured up to the legal limit.
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Suspending Or Canceling Your Card
Is There A Minimum Balance That Must Remain On The Card
Many people need immediate access to all cash received through their benefits program.
Because this is the audience that Direct Express is designed for, cardholders can use all of the funds until they reach a $0.00 balance. It will simply stop people from making payments when you have nothing left- no overdraft fees apply.
To ensure that users have enough money to pay the bills and make essential purchases, its critical to know how to check the balance on a Direct Express card. All cardholders need to do is call the toll-free customer service number at 1 641-1115. Its impossible to forget this number since its on the back of the physical card.
Users also can check their balance on www.usdirectexpress.com. If youre a cardholder who prefers a mobile devices convenience and security, you can install the app, log in, and check it there. Still, remember that there is absolutely no way that you can overdraft on the card so that you can maximize your peace of mind.
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Whats The Difference Between Social Security Direct Express Cards And Credit Cards
While, in some respects, a Social Security Direct Express card might look like a credit card, the two tools function very differently. For example, with a Social Security Direct Express card youre not borrowing money and you wont have a balance to repay each month. As such, your spending activity wont be reported to the credit bureaus and it wont have an effect on your credit score.
Instead, your Social Security benefits are paid directly to the card each month and money is deducted from it every time you make a purchase. When the funds are depleted, you wont be able to make any more purchases until your benefits renew.
Additionally, liability protection is different. While credit cards generally have a blanket policy of 0 percent fraud liability, Social Security Direct Express cards are treated like a debit card. If you report your card missing right away, you wont be liable for any fraudulent charges. However, if you wait between two and 90 days to report the card, you could be liable for up to $500 in purchases and, if you wait longer than that, all of the charges could fall on your shoulders.
That said, Social Security Direct Express cards can also do things that credit cards cannot. For instance, youre entitled to one free ATM withdrawal per pay period. Credit card cash advances, on the other hand, can be very costly.
What Is Direct Express
A Direct Express card is, at the most basic level, a debit card. It allows you to access federal benefit funds that would otherwise be impossible to obtain without a bank account.
Since many people cannot open up bank accounts for credit-related reasons and other complications, applying for a Direct Express card is an alternative that can help people get the funds needed for daily expenses.
Some federal benefit payments that a Direct Express card will qualify you for include:
- Social Security retirement benefits
- Bureau of Indian Affairs benefits
- Insurance, annuity, or Individual Retirement Account payments
- Unemployment Compensation or Workers Compensation benefits
The US Department of Treasury requires electronic payout for all benefit payments. The Direct Express card is needed because these benefits funds must usually be deposited directly into a bank account or credit union.
However, Direct Express cards can be used to manage the funds and spend them at many different venues. The deposits will be placed directly onto the card, and you can then use them to make purchases at any venue that accepts debit payments.
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How To Get Emergency Cash From Direct Express
Heres how the Emergency cash service works:
You can get up to $1,000 of the funds available on your Direct Express card account without your Direct Express card in hand.
You may pick up your money at any MoneyGram location in the U.S., U.S. Virgin Islands, or Puerto Rico.
Almost all Walmart Locations have MoneyGram centers, making it easy for you to get access to your money.
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Schedule Of Social Security Payments For January 2023
If you are on Social Security benefits, planning ahead is a big part of making sure your benefit payments go the distance.
As you plan for the month of January 2023, knowing when you can expect to get your Social Security checks is important.
You can plan accordingly and make sure your bills are paid on time. It also helps you avoid surprises in case your benefit payment is going to be delayed due to a weekend or holiday.
Here is when to Expect Your Social Security Payment for January:
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Who Can Apply For Direct Express Card
The following federal benefits can be received electronically via the direct express debit Mastercard:
- U.S. Coast Guard
- Long Shore and Harbor Workers Comp
- The Veterans Compensation and Pension
- Veterans Education MGIB
- Veterans Vocational Rehab and Employee
- The Chapter 33 VA EDU Post 911 Post 911 GI Bill
- Chapter 35 VA DEP EDU ASST Dependents Education Assistance Program
- Chapter 1607 VA EDUCTN REAP Reserve Education Assistance
- Veterans Health Administration