U.S. Treasury phasing out paper social security payments

If you or someone you know still receives a paper check from Social Security, there is less than two months to switch to electronic payments.

While 93 percent of payments are now being made electronically, there are still millions being sent through the mail. Right now five million checks are sent monthly -- representing an additional $4.6 million in monthly costs since each mailed check costs 92 cents more than a direct deposit transfer.

Since May 2011, all new recipients of payments from federal benefits programs were required to sign up for electronic payments. The Treasury Department set a March 1, 2013 deadline for all other recipients to do the same.

Anyone who fails to make the change will still receive paper checks, but will be the target of more aggressive communication efforts, such as additional mailings, said Walt Henderson, a Treasury official.

To sign up for benefits you can visit or call a toll-free help line at 1-800-333-1795.