Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Go Direct® campaign?

The Go Direct® campaign was initiated by Treasury and the Federal Reserve Banks in 2004 to encourage federal benefit check recipients to switch to direct deposit. The campaign became a public education effort in 2010 with the posting of 31 CFR Part 208 , Treasury's regulation that required electronic federal benefits. While the campaign is no longer actively working to inform Americans about the requirement, this website remains a resource operated by Treasury's Financial Management Service.

What is direct deposit?

With direct deposit, your money goes straight into your account at the same time each month, thus giving you more control over your money. It eliminates the risk of stolen checks and forged signatures and helps protect you from identity theft.

Direct deposit also provides immediate access to your money from virtually anywhere.

I would like to sign up for direct deposit, what do I do?

You can sign up online for direct deposit right now by visiting

Why is direct deposit a good idea?

Direct deposit is safer than mailing checks. In fact, beneficiaries are 125 times more likely to have a problem with a paper check than with an electronic payment like direct deposit.

It's easier than checks, because people who get benefits don't need to go to the bank or credit union to deposit a check. Their payment goes straight into their account on payment day each month, giving people more control over their money.

Plus, direct deposit allows immediate access to funds from virtually anywhere. It's easy to sign up for direct deposit, and it only takes a few minutes — call the Go Direct® Customer Service at (800) 333-1795 or Enroll online. You also can sign up at a bank, credit union, or local Social Security office.

How do I make changes to my existing direct deposit?

You can use Go Direct® only if you currently receive your Federal benefit payments by check and you want to begin receiving your benefits by Direct Deposit instead.

If you are already receiving your Federal benefit payment by Direct Deposit, and would like to have your payments sent to a new or different account, you should call the Federal agency that pays your benefits.

Visit our page about changing your existing direct deposit.

How many federal benefit recipients use direct deposit?

The majority of federal benefit payments are made by direct deposit. As of March 1, 2013, nearly 95 percent of payments were made electronically.

What if I receive a federal benefit and I don't have a checking or savings account?

For Social Security and SSI recipients without bank accounts, Treasury recommends signing up for the Direct Express® Debit MasterCard®. The Direct Express® card is a prepaid debit card that offers another safe and convenient alternative to paper checks. Call (800) 333-1795 to sign up for the card. For all other Federal benefit payment types contact a bank or credit union in your area to discuss your banking account options.

I just entered the check number for direct deposit enrollment. What do I do with my current check?

Please deposit or cash your federal benefit check as you normally would. Direct deposit can take 1 to 2 payment cycles to take effect. You may receive one or more paper checks before the direct deposit takes effect.

I signed up for direct deposit last month, but I received my federal benefit check in the mail this month. What do I do?

Direct deposit can take 1 to 2 payment cycles to take effect. Please deposit or cash your federal benefit check as you always have. If however, you receive your federal benefit check by mail next month, please call Go Direct® Customer Service — Mon - Fri 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET (excluding federal holidays): (877) 874-6347.

I have additional questions — where can I find more information?

Visit the FAQ page on for more information.