Federal benefit recipients without bank accounts can receive their Social Security and SSI funds more safely with the U.S. Treasury’s Direct Express debit card. The Treasury will start issuing the cards in the spring through Comerica Bank.
Direct deposit of benefits into a bank account is still the safest way for people to receive their federal benefits, according to the Treasury, but studies sponsored by the Treasury show that about a third of those receiving checks for Social Security and SSI don’t have bank accounts. The debit card provides an alternative to direct deposit for the unbanked and will reduce the cost to taxpayers of providing payments. Read more at www.fms.treas.gov/news/press/financial_agent.html.
The new $5 bills begin circulating March 13. The redesigned notes include the now-familiar watermark and security thread that have appeared on other new notes since the 1990s. Other new, unique features include subtle changes to the color of the bill, the serial number and the symbol of freedom; visible changes to the Lincoln portrait on the front and Lincoln Memorial vignette on the back; a low-vision feature to aid the vision-impaired; and new microprinting. Old $5 bills will still be good. Visit www.moneyfactory.gov/newmoney for full details.