Social Security Goes Paperless

2013 has brought many changes to the U.S. Social Security system, and these go beyond the increase in Social Security taxes that most Americans are noticing in their paychecks.

 This year, the Social Security Administration is transitioning to a completely paperless system. The motivation behind the change is two-fold. By eliminating the use of paper, the administration stands to save $70 million each year and improve efficiency in the process. Plus, the reduction in paper waste will have a profoundly positive environmental impact.

 If you currently receive paper Social Security statements by mail, you can expect those to stop. You can still monitor your contributions and coverage, however, using the SSA's online site. Once you register, you can view and print the statements with the My Social Security service.

The second major impact of the SSA's new paperless policy is the discontinuation of paper checks. Currently, about 5 million paper checks are mailed to American seniors and disabled citizens each month. Now, these payments will be made by direct deposit. Seniors have until March 1 to contact social security to provide bank account information and continue receiving payments without delays.

If you, a parent or other family member is still receiving paper checks, you can make the change easily on the SSA website, by phone at 1-800-772-1213 or by completing and mailing in a form

Direct deposits for social security are typically issued on the same day that current checks are mailed and are usually available anywhere from immediately or up to 24 hours after the date of deposit. For more information, about the move to a paperless Social Security System, visit the SSA site.

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