Veterans Benefits: Reduce Fees, Identity Theft With Direct Deposit
Getting veterans benefits can be tricky. The process can be long and arduous, especially if you are doing it on your own.
Once you get approved, you want to ensure your money arrives safely. While many veterans opt for payment options such as checks and debit cards, these payment methods are not the safest. They can contribute to identity theft, which is already high among older Americans. Not only that, but they are also expensive to use, so they cause the beneficiary to pay extra fees.
Because of these reasons, officials from the U.S. Veterans Affairs are urging those who receive veterans benefits to opt for direct deposit instead. Many people refuse to do so, though, because they don’t have a bank account and cannot open one for some reason.
The good news is that they can easily open an account through the Veterans Benefits Banking Program. Through this program, veterans can set up free checking accounts so they can receive benefits electronically from one of the 33 participating financial institutions. There are 11 banks and 22 credit unions that participate in this program, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, USAA, Armed Forces Bank, First National Bank Alaska, AmeriCU, Andrews Federal Credit Union, Fort Lee Federal Credit Union, Infuze Credit Union, Kirtland Federal Credit Union, Members First Credit Union, Navy Federal Credit Union and Service Credit Union.
The Department of Veterans Affairs advises against using debit cards and paper checks because they can cause problems. These payments methods arrive in the mail, so there is a high risk of them getting stolen by thieves. With paper checks, there are often fees associated with getting them cashed. Plus, there are delays, as veterans have to wait for them to arrive in the mail.
With direct deposit, getting paid is quick and easy. It’s also safe and cheap. The money is electronically deposited into the recipient’s account, reducing the risk of fraud and identity theft.
On top of that, veterans are more likely to fall victim to scammers than the general population.
They are often involved in phishing scams, in which they may receive emails and phone calls about fake benefit programs. The caller may ask for personal information, and when the veteran gives it to them, their identity is stolen. Veterans should also be wary of phone calls offering them to refinance a VA loan.
The benefits that veterans qualify for can change over time. Therefore, it’s a good idea for them to check in with VA representatives at least every few years to see what they are eligible to receive.
Learn More About Veterans Benefits
Get the most out of your veterans benefits by using direct deposit. Scams are common among government programs, but by getting your money automatically deposited into your bank account, you can increase safety.
White Plains veterans disability benefits lawyer Michael Lawrence Varon can guide you through the benefits process and address any obstacles you may face along the way. We have represented clients at all levels of the veterans benefits system. To schedule a free consultation, fill out the online form or call 914-294-2145.