If you’ve ever had anything stolen out of your mailbox, or if a check has just failed to show up, you know the angst, trouble and problems that follow because of that missing money.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has a way to safeguard the benefit money that comes to you. The Veterans Benefits Banking Program, for veterans and beneficiaries, will do a direct deposit into your account.
According to the VA, if receiving a paper check, you’re 16 times more likely to have it lost or stolen. You’re 22 times more likely to have it go missing altogether and need to file a claim for it, which of course takes time. They say that since many veterans are using direct deposit, fraud has gone down by 93 percent.
And with direct deposit, you’ll get your money faster. It suddenly just appears in your account, on time, every time, not making its way through the postal system.
Through the banking program, there are 43 banking institutions that have signed up to provide low or no-cost checking and savings accounts. You can find those banks here: veteransbenefitsbanking.org/financial-institutions. (Don’t miss the FAQ. A lot of questions are answered.) Scroll down to the list of banks. (I’m a fan of USAA.) If you already have a bank account (or credit union) and you like them, you can set up a direct deposit right into your account. Call the VA at 800-827-1000 and find more information at www.va.gov/change-direct-deposit.
It can take a little while to think about this kind of change if you’ve never had direct deposit. But it can be rather disconcerting to have a neighbor from a block away show up at your door with a check that was mistakenly delivered to them.
You can eliminate a big source of worry and potential problems if you consider signing up for direct deposit for your benefit payment.
(c) 2023 King Features Synd., Inc.