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Alternative Ways To Receive Social Security Benefits

Electronic Transfer Account

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To encourage the use of Direct Deposit, the Department of the Treasury introduced an easy and affordable option to opening a checking account if you don't have one. The account is known as an Electronic Transfer Account (ETA).

The ETA account, which provides the full range of consumer protections, is available to any one who receives a Federal benefit, including Social Security Disability, Social Security Retirement Income and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

ETA is available through participating Federally insured financial institutions, including banks, savings and loans, and credit unions.

Features of an ETA include:

  • No minimum balance, unless the law requires it.
  • A minimum of four cash withdrawals per month have to be permitted.
  • A monthly statement listing all deposits and withdrawals.
  • Your bank, savings and loan, or credit union will tell you whether you can get your money from a teller, an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or both. Note: it may cost you extra to use ATMs at certain locations.
  • A maximum cost of $3.00 per month.
  • Federal insurance of the account.

For more information about ETA or to locate an ETA provider near you, visit the Department of the Treasury ETA website at offsite link or contact the ETA call center toll free at 888.382.3311. Note: Social Security uses both ETA and ETASM when referring to Electronic Transfer Accounts. Both refer to the same type of special bank account created for Social Security beneficiaries.

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