In the desire to economize and offer good service to 4 million of citizen who obtain Social Security benefits the American government issued prepaid debit cards to be given to people transferring funds to the bank account, instead of using paper checks.

This debit card seems to be matching in function to bank debit cards, which are used in ATMs and stores, demands a PIN number to be secure, and is connected to the account of the person, which is used for automatic depositing of Social Security benefits.

The accounts are set up for all those who do not have accounts but are entitled to get SSI benefits. Each account is attached to particular SSI debit card. Then monthly benefits get to the account and are available for all those who are entitled to receive them.

It lets consumers not be concerned over SSI checks that can be stolen, or worry about opening the bank account to directly deposit the checks. This allows the government to save funds, because a debit card transaction is cheaper than cost of checks.

It will thwart forgery too and contribute to security in addition as PIN based system protects the funds.

This system has its disadvantages and this referred to fees first of all. Cardholders are able to have one free ATM cash withdrawal monthly per deposit, but Comerica demands 90 cents for extra withdrawal. Similar to the holders of other debit cards, users of SSI debit cards can encounter surcharges at numerous ATMs. Among additional fees you will find $3 for intercontinental ATM withdrawals, 3% on currency exchanges. Every payment of the bill made in the Internet is charged with 50 cents fee and the cost of the paper monthly statements is 75 cents.

Withdrawal fees, processing fees and lack of interest are disadvantages of SSI debit card. The interest is received by the government.

The program has been working since 2008. The person who is eligible for benefits should at first decide if it is an appropriate program for him. This program was designed for ones without the bank account but in case you have it can be reasonable to obtain usual Social Security Deposit. Why the Direct Deposit can be better? This way you will be able to earn interest on this money. One more reason is the chance to avoid fees. Call the card enrollment centre to do it or go to the website and enroll there “as a benefit recipient”. Follow the instructions to complete the formalities.

The card will be sent to you by mail. You should activate it before use by entering PIN (personal identification number). Now you can make use of the card like any other regular card.