The federal government issues 73 million payments a month, but is phasing out paper checks for all benefit programs. So beneficiaries will have to get payments electronically, either through direct deposit or a debit card for those without a bank account.
The changes will affect people who receive Social Security, veterans' benefits, railroad pensions and federal disability payments.
Tax refunds are exempt, but the Internal Revenue Service encourages taxpayers to get refunds electronically by processing those refunds faster than paper checks.
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