If you have a disability that limits your ability to work, you might be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. These benefits can be critical, as they give you the ability to pay for food, housing, utilities and other living expenses. Still, you might not want to wait for a check to arrive in the mail.
Having a checking or savings account is helpful, as you can arrange for direct deposit. If you opt for direct deposit, your SSDI benefits automatically appear in your account on the day of your payment or even shortly before. If you do not have a bank account, though, you might want to look into the Direct Express card.
What is the Direct Express card?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Fiscal Service, the Direct Express Debit Mastercard is a debit card many federal agencies use to distribute benefits. The Social Security Administration is a participating federal agency, so you can receive your SSDI benefits directly on the card on your payment date.
How does the Direct Express card work?
After you receive approval for SSDI benefits, you can sign up for a Direct Express card. This card works like other debit cards, so you can use it to make in-store purchases with a personal identification number, pay bills online or over the phone and shop online. You also can use the card at automated teller machines to make withdrawals, but you may have to pay ATM fees.
If you have a Direct Express card and do not like it, you can later decide to switch to direct deposit or paper SSDI checks. Ultimately, though, if you do not already have a debit card, registering for a Direct Express card might make your life more convenient.