As of September 2008, The Social Security administration has issued a Direct Express pre paid credit card to the 3.9 million people on Social Security and disability nationwide. The purpose of this card is to enable recipients with no bank accounts or those who may not like getting a check in the mail, to now have a card that will automatically have their allotted amount deposited on the debit card every month. This will prevent delays in the check coming in the mail, theft of paper checks and a sometimes difficult attempt to get to the bank and cash it.
Who should apply? Anyone who is on Social Security or disability that likes the idea of having a debit card for their transactions instead of cashing their monthly check and using cash or having to write checks from their bank account. The Direct Express Debit card is accepted anywhere a MasterCard is accepted and can also be used to get cash from ATM machines, retail stores and banks.
What if the Direct Express card is lost or stolen? This debit card is like any other debit card and you will have a personal pin number that protects you if it is. You can call immediately to report this and your debit card will be replaced. It is also protected and insured by the FDIC.
Does the card cost anything? No, it is free with no monthly account fee and has free services like: optional notifications of deposits made to your card by phone, text or email, optional alerts when your balance falls below a certain level and a once a month, no charge ATM withdrawal at participating ATM machines. There is also a toll- free, 24 hour customer service number 7 days a week.
Are There Any Other Fees? For certain things like ATM withdrawals after the first free one cost only $0.90. Other fees include a bill pay fee of $0.50 each time you pay a bill, $0.75 for a monthly Direct Express card statement that is mailed to you monthly, $4 to replace a lost or stolen card each year and $13.50 to replace it with overnight delivery, $1.50 to transfer funds to a US bank account and $3 plus 3% of the transaction to withdraw funds from an international ATM machine.
How To Get the Direct Express Card There is a toll free number, 1-877-212-9991 or an online sign up site at- http://www.USDirectExpress.com. You can also call Social Security at-1-800-772-1213 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and a representative will help you. For the hearing impaired: 1-800-325-0778.