Direct deposit is the process of having funds immediately added to your bank account following a paycheck or a receipt of benefits. Usually, a direct deposit form is required to begin the process, as it asks for your banking information (i.e., your routing and account numbers). While this process is commonly used throughout the financial world to expedite pay dates, many may not know how it applies to their government assistance benefits.

For instance, other steps are required to begin the process for a Social Security direct deposit, which may mandate that you utilize online banking systems or contact your bank directly. To learn how a Chase direct deposit, or a deposit to any other banking institution, can help you manage your government benefits and take control of your finances, you may need to contact your bank directly. 

For example, a Wells Fargo direct deposit can seem simple, but you need to ensure that you are enrolled in the correct program for your particular benefits and that you have all the necessary information to contact your bank should the automatic transaction need to be corrected or changed. Therefore, you are encouraged to use the following direct deposit information to complete any forms associated with your banking deposit. 

What is Go Direct?

Currently, the U.S. Treasury only allows benefits and financial assistance to be distributed in a few ways to beneficiaries, including by direct deposit, by a prepaid debit card and by check. Other methods may be approved for the receipt of government assistance on special occasions but may not result in simple payments.

Go Direct, however, is a government-sponsored system that helps you set up a direct deposit for your government assistance benefits quickly and easily. Additionally, the system allows you to select a Direct Express® card if you would prefer, which is the U.S. Treasury’s recommended prepaid debit card for benefits.

The system asks for your banking information and requires you to fill out a Bank of America direct deposit form or another form based on the bank you use for your other financial needs. If you choose a Bank of America direct deposit, for instance, Go Direct will prompt you to provide the following details:

  • Your most recent benefit check number or claim number
  • The full name of the benefit recipient
  • Your checking or savings account information (i.e., bank routing number and account number)
  • Your Social Security Number (SSN)
  • The amount of your most recent federal benefit check

Note: You will only need to provide your banking information if you choose the direct deposit option, not the prepaid debit card payment option. 

How to Enroll in Direct Deposit 

You can enroll in direct deposit through your bank for most transactions. For instance, a Chase direct deposit form can be downloaded from the bank’s website to enroll for your work paycheck. Similarly, an ADP direct deposit request can be processed online if you log in to your ADP account and complete the electronic form for your weekly, bi-weekly or monthly paycheck. 

If you make a Cash App direct deposit request, then you will need to have an activated Cash Card. Regardless, this process involves dealing with your bank and your employer directly.

Conversely, a Social Security direct deposit request for benefits requires you to either visit, call or mail the U.S. Treasury’s Go Direct system. The following explains the process of applying for direct deposit via Go Direct:

 

  • Visit Go Direct online – Go to the website and enter in your personal and financial information as directed. The website will answer all the questions you may have regarding the request, including, “What is direct deposit?” and “When will I be officially enrolled?”
  • Call a Go Direct representative – You can speak to a live agent on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST by calling the U.S. Treasury Electronic Payment Solution Center at 800-333-1795. Be sure to specify the reason why you are calling and to respond to all phone prompts appropriately. 
  • Contact Go Direct by mail – To enroll in direct deposit by mail, you must be a U.S. citizen receiving Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Veterans, Railroad Retirement or Civil Service (OPM) benefits. Complete the form, available online, and send it to the Go Direct Processing Center of the U.S. Department of the Treasury MS/GDW at P.O. Box 650527, Dallas, Texas 75265-0527.

 

The U.S. Treasury advises you to use the online enrollment option for direct deposits, as it takes the least amount of time to process and appear in your account once you receive your next benefit check. 

How to Make Changes to an Existing Direct Deposit

For Social Security to change direct deposit information, you will need to contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) directly. The same rule applies for changing direct deposit information for any other government benefits. You must contact the government agency that supplies your benefits. If you simply need to adjust your deposit date or something, then you might be able to contact your bank instead. 

How long does direct deposit take?

If you are asking, “When does Social Security direct deposit show up in my account?” then you need to consider when you enrolled in deposits and when you last received your federal benefits. You must wait at least one to two weeks to allow your enrollment to be recognized and for your benefits to be distributed to your checking or savings account that you provided. 

However, the type of government benefits you receive may determine how long you have to wait for them to appear in your bank account. Although some direct deposit requests may be approved within three business days, others may take a week or longer to be approved, and then the government agency that pays for your benefits may even have to wait for a bank or financial institution to approve the transaction each time. 

You should receive regular updates pertaining to the status of your direct deposit each month that you are entitled to receive benefits. If you do not receive your benefits in your account for any reason, then contact the federal agency that manages your benefits immediately.