Direct Express Stimulus Check Update as Those on SSI, SSDI Still Awaiting Payment

Americans who receive federal benefits through Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) via Direct Express can expect to receive payment "within the next few weeks."

Direct Express advised: "While we do not have specific information on timing, most people will receive their stimulus payments within the next few weeks," in a tweet on Tuesday.

Federal aid funds are usually issued to SSI and SSDI recipients via their Direct Express card account.

The U.S. Bureau of the Fiscal Service explains: "Federal benefit payments, such as Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Veterans, are required to receive your payment electronically. You must either have the money deposited directly to a bank or credit union account or get your money each month on a Direct Express prepaid debit card."

Who can get stimulus payments via Direct Express?

Only current Direct Express card holders are eligible to receive the latest stimulus payment on their card. Those who want to sign up for a Direct Express card can do so by calling 1-800-333-1795 (available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET) or by "contacting your benefit-paying agency," Direct Express notes.

See the Direct Express website for full details about enrolling in the card program.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) advised that SSI and SSDI recipients can expect to receive their third stimulus payment in "the same way as their regular benefits," but a payment date has yet to be announced.

"Social Security and other federal beneficiaries will generally receive this third payment the same way as their regular benefits. A payment date for this group will be announced shortly," the IRS said on March 12.

What if I don't have a Direct Express card?

The first batch of stimulus funds were issued via direct deposit, with more batches to be sent in coming weeks, as well as by mail and prepaid debit cards, the IRS said on Wednesday.

Since only current Direct Express card holders can receive the latest stimulus payment, SSI and SSDI recipients who don't receive federal benefits via Direct Express may have to wait longer to get their third stimulus payment.

Third stimulus payments sent to Direct Express card accounts that were recently closed "will be returned and the IRS will reissue the payment," the company advises.

The IRS is sending out Economic Impact Payments – also known as stimulus payments. While we do not have specific information on timing, most people will receive their stimulus payments within the next few weeks. pic.twitter.com/2r0zVoTvMR

— Direct Express® card (@USDirectExpress) March 16, 2021

How does Direct Express work?

The Direct Express program is used by around 4.5 million Americans, the majority of whom do not have a bank account, according to the Bureau of the Fiscal Service.

Federal benefits are "automatically deposited directly into your [Direct Express] card account each month on your payment day," Benefits.gov explains.

"No bank account or credit check is required to enroll. There are no sign-up fees or monthly account fees. Many card services are free," the government website adds.

Direct Express card holders can use their cards to make purchases at stores that accept Debit MasterCard, pay their bills, purchase money orders from the U.S. Postal Office and withdraw cash from ATMs or "financial institutions that display the MasterCard acceptance mark," according to Benefits.gov.

For third stimulus payments, Direct Express card holders will receive one free ATM withdrawal in addition to the free withdrawal for each benefit payment deposit the user receives, Direct Express says.

What if I don't receive my direct deposit?

Anyone who doesn't receive their direct deposit payments are advised to look out for either a check or a debit card in the mail.

The IRS says: "To speed delivery of the payments to reach as many people as soon as possible, some payments will be sent in the mail as a debit card. The form of payment for the third stimulus payment may differ from the first two."

Those expecting to receive stimulus funds can check the status of their payment using the Get My Payment tool at the IRS website, which is being updated on a regular basis.

Social Security office California 2020
The exterior of a U.S. Social Security Administration building in Burbank, California, pictured on November 5, 2020. Americans who receive federal benefits via Direct Express can expect to receive payment "within the next few weeks." Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images