Already receiving benefits
If you already receive Social Security or SSI benefits and you have a bank account, you can sign up for Direct Deposit by:
- starting or changing Direct Deposit online (Social Security benefits only), or
- contacting your bank, credit union or savings and loan association, or
- calling Social Security toll-free at
1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778),or
- filling out a Direct Deposit Sign Up Form and taking or mailing it to your Social Security Office.
The form is available here in PDF format for downloading and completion. To read and print the form, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader software installed on your computer.
Consider the Direct Express® debit card as another viable option.
The Direct Express® card is a debit card you can use to access your benefits. And you don't need a bank account.
With the Direct Express® card program, we deposit your federal benefit payment directly into your card account. Your monthly benefits will be available on your payment day—on time, every time. You can use the card to make purchases, pay bills or get cash at thousands of locations.
It’s quick and easy to sign up for the card. Call the toll-free Direct Express® hotline at 1-877-212-9991. Also, Social Security can help you sign up.
If you don't have an account, you must open an account before you can sign up for Direct Deposit. You should shop around in your area to find an account that has the features you want at a price you can afford. Some financial institutions offer a low cost account called an “Electronic Transfer Account.” When you decide on the account that is right for you, let the representative at the financial institution know that you are interested in signing up to receive your benefits by Direct Deposit.
Not currently receiving benefits
If you don’t get Social Security or SSI benefits yet but are planning to apply, tell the Social Security representative when you apply for benefits that you want to sign up for Direct Deposit. If you already have an account, have your checkbook or a copy of your bank statement with you.