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Social Security Direct Deposit Change | How Long It Takes

A woman on her laptop changing her direct deposit information on the SSA website.

Since the law was changed to  require that all Social Security benefits be deposited electronically, most people choose to sign up for direct deposit. Direct deposit allows the Social Security Administration to deposit your Social Security check directly into your bank account each month. A few people choose to receive their funds via a Direct Express Mastercard debit card, especially those without a bank account. But what happens if you change banks or want your monthly check deposited into a different account? You will need to update your direct deposit information with the Social Security Administration. Keep reading to learn how long this process takes and the different methods you can use to change your information.

 

How Long Does It Take Social Security To Change Direct Deposit Information?

When you get ready to update your direct deposit information with Social Security, you likely want the change to take effect as quickly as possible. So, how long does it take to change your information? In most cases, it takes 30 to 60 days for the change to take effect. This means that it could be up to two months from the time you request the change until you see funds deposited into your new bank account. The Social Security Administration should send a letter to your home address that shows the estimated date that the change will occur and when you can expect to receive your Social Security check electronically.

Since the process can take a month or two, make sure that you do not close your old bank account until you see a deposit into your new account. Closing your old account too quickly could cause your Social Security direct deposit to fail. This could delay receiving your benefits for the month, and it might take some time to get the problem sorted out. Once you see the first deposit from the SSA into your new account, then you can go ahead and close your old account if you wish.

 

How To Change Your Social Security Direct Deposit

A man on the phone with the Social Security Administration changing his direct deposit information.

Now that you know how long it takes the Social Security Administration to update your direct deposit information, you might be wondering how you can make the change. There are three ways you can change your information, and they are all fairly straightforward. You can also change your direct deposit information for SSI benefits the same way. The process is as follows.

 

— Online

The quickest and easiest way to update your direct deposit information is by using your My Social Security account online at SSA.gov. If you don’t have an account already, you can create one in about ten minutes with your Social Security number. Go ahead and log into your account and make sure that you have your banking information available. You will need a bank statement or checkbook showing the routing number and account number of the account you wish to use.

Once you have logged into your account, select the “Benefits and Payments” button. Scroll down the page and click the “Update Direct Deposit” link. From there, you can enter all the information about your new account. You will need the financial institution’s routing number, your account number, and the type of account (either checking or savings). Review the information you provided and click “Submit,” and then “Done.” Using the online service is the most convenient way to update your direct deposit information.

 

— Over The Phone

If you are not comfortable making the change online, you can also change your direct deposit over the phone. There is no formal Social Security direct deposit change form, so you can simply make the request over the phone. You should call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Make sure you call between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. to speak with a representative. After verifying your identity, you must provide the representative with your new account information. You can also call the U.S. Treasury’s Electronic Payment Solution Center at 1-800-333-1795.

 

— In Person

Finally, you can visit your local Social Security office in person to change your direct deposit information. It is a good idea to call and make an appointment first. Otherwise, you might find yourself waiting for several hours to speak with a representative. The representative at your local office can help make sure that your Social Security payments make it to the right account.

Instead of visiting your local Social Security office, you could also start at your bank or credit union. In some cases, your financial institution can initiate the change for you, although this is not always the case. The easiest thing to do is update your direct deposit information online.

 

How To Set Up Direct Deposit For The First Time

Now you know how to change your direct deposit information, but what if you still receive a paper check in the mail? How do you set up direct deposit for the first time on your Social Security benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits? Signing up for the first time is easy, and the quickest way to do so is by using the Go Direct system set up by the Social Security Administration. You will just need your Social Security number, some information from your most recent benefit payment, and your new bank account information. You can use either a checking account or a savings account, but you will need to specify which type of account you are using.

Even when setting up a brand new direct deposit account, the process still usually takes 30 to 60 days, but thankfully, this time it’s calendar days, not business days. Social Security beneficiaries who sign up for direct deposit should see their first electronic payment within two months, and direct deposit should not affect the withholding of your Medicare premium.

 

Can You Still Receive A Paper Social Security Check?

Remember that we mentioned earlier that Federal law mandates all benefit payments to be made electronically. However, there are a couple of exceptions that still allow you to receive a paper check from the Social Security Administration. First, you will need to complete a waiver request and have that waiver approved. There are three criteria that can allow you to qualify for a waiver and still get a paper check.

First, if you were born before May 1, 1921, you can get a waiver of the electronic payment requirement. Next, you can qualify for a waiver if you are unable to manage a bank account or a Direct Express card due to a mental impairment. Finally, you can qualify for the waiver if you live in a remote area that lacks the infrastructure to support electronic financial transactions. If you meet any of these criteria, you might be able to get the waiver request approved and still get a paper check in the mail each month.

 

The Bottom Line

Changing your direct deposit information with Social Security is not a difficult task, but the change will take about 30 to 60 days to process. You can change your information online, over the phone, or in person. You might even be able to contact your bank or credit union to have them initiate the change for you. Make sure that you keep your old bank account active until you see a deposit from the SSA in your new account. Closing your old account too early could lead to lost benefit payments that could take some time to track down.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Can I call Social Security to change my direct deposit information?

Yes, you can call Social Security to change your direct deposit information. You will need to provide your Social Security number, and you might need to provide some other pieces of information to verify your identity. Provide the representative with your new banking information, and the change request will be submitted. You can still expect the change to take 30 to 60 days to take effect.

 

How easy is it to change Social Security direct deposit?

It is pretty easy to change your Social Security direct deposit information. The Social Security Administration offers several different ways you can accomplish this task. You can request the change online, over the phone, or in person at your local office. Making the change online through your My Social Security account is the easiest way to update your direct deposit information.

 

How many times can I change my bank account?

There is no limit to the number of times you can change your bank account, and changing your bank account will have no impact on how much Social Security pays. However, remember that each change takes 30 to 60 days to process and take effect. You should avoid making changes unless necessary, as unnecessary changes introduce the possibility of mistakes. An error in your direct deposit information will result in missed payments, and it could take you several weeks to fix the problem.

 

How do I let Social Security know I have a new bank account?

The easiest way to let Social Security know about your new bank account is by updating your information through the SSA’s My Social Security website. It only takes a few minutes to update your bank information through your online account. However, there are also other options. You can also call the Social Security Administration or visit your local Social Security office in person. All three methods will work, but the online process is the quickest and easiest way. Unlike a Social Security name change, there is no additional documentation that must be submitted with a request to change your direct deposit information.

Elliot Marks

Elliot Marks

Elliot has spent years providing clear and concise information to help navigate the complex nuances of social security and many other government services in the United States. Elliot has a passion for helping those in need of these services to be able to find timely access to news and information that is relevant and helpful to their daily lives.