By Devin Sanchez
Each month, about 5 million Americans receive a federal benefits check, but on March 1, 2013, those paper checks will be a thing of the past. The switch is estimated to save the government more than $1 billion.
The Go-Direct campaign was launched back in 2005 to urge those who receive federal checks to start going electronic. There are two options: direct deposit or a debit card.
Donna Graves, Director of Ector County Senior Services, said most of the seniors she's talked to already made the switch.
"The seniors I talked to are stating they've had direct deposit for several years," she said.
Graves thinks most of the seniors are at ease with the switch but she has heard that a lot of people are more nervous about the debit card.
"One of the seniors even commented that she wouldn't even know how to use one of the debit cards, if they gave her a debit card," she said. "Most seniors have checking accounts, and those that don't, will be the ones confused."
She told NewsWest 9 the switch is needed to keep people who receive social security safe from fraud.
"In some situations, they aren't even able to protect themselves on the phone," Graves said. "We really need to try to help our seniors as much as possible against fraud and identity theft."