Social Security Debit Card

As of March 1, 2013, the United States Department of the Treasury requires all federal government benefit payments to be made by electronic payments. This includes Social Security benefits. You can either have your benefit payments direct deposited into your account, or you can have it automatically deposited into your Direct Deposit Debit Card Account (Social Security Debit Card Account). In addition, when you sign up to receive your Social Security,  Supplemental Security Income, VA or other federal benefits, you can select the  Direct Express debit card and have your money automatically deposited to your card account on your payment date. Here is how to sign up for the Social Security Debit Card.

"Social Security Debit Card"

Social Security Debit Card Application

Signing up is easy. All you have to do is to call the U.S. Treasury Electronic Payment Solution Center at (800) 333-1795 (toll free) and tell them you want to sign up for the Direct Express Debit MasterCard. No bank account or credit check is required to enroll. There are no sign-up fees or monthly account fees. Many other card services are free. Additional information about the card is available at their website which you can visit at Here is the information you will need to provide when you call:

  • 12-digit federal benefit check number
  • Amount of most recent federal benefit check

The image below show you how to retrieve that information on your Social Security Benefits Check.

"Social Security Debit Card Application"

How Does it Work?

The Social Security Debit MasterCard functions like a regular bank debit card. You can use it to make purchases at stores that accept Debit MasterCard, like grocery, pharmacy, gas stations, restaurants, hotels etc. You can also use it to pay bills, purchase money orders from the U.S. Post Office and get cash from an ATM or financial institution that displays the MasterCard acceptance mark. Here is a short video that explains in details what you can do with your card and the security and other benefits you get from using it.

Social Security Debit Card Customer Service Information

If you would like to reach the Direct Express customer service and support team, here are the numbers to call: To sign up for the Direct Express card, please contact the enrollment center between the hours of 7:00 AM CST to 7:00 PM CST Monday through Friday. The Card Enrollment Center can be reached toll free at: 1-800-333-1795.

If you already have a card and have questions for customer service, you can reach them toll free at: 1-888-741-1115 — Hearing impaired: 1-866-569-0447 — International: 1-765-778-6290 (Collect). They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Here are some of the issues they can help you with:

  • Reporting lost or stolen cards
  • Balance inquiries
  • PIN changes
  • Transaction history requests
  • Registering a complaint about a card issue
  • Questions about card usage
  • Questions about international card usage

We hope this review has been helpful to you. If you are currently getting benefits by check, you are out of compliance and need to sign up either for direct deposit into your bank account or get a Direct Express card. If you don’t do anything, the United States Treasury Department will switch you from getting checks in the mail to the Direct Express Card.