WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that its Veterans Benefits Banking Program has converted more than 200,000 Veterans and beneficiaries from paper checks to direct deposit for receiving their VA benefits payments.
Switching from paper checks to direct deposit helps protect Veterans and beneficiaries from fraud and ensure that they receive their earned benefits in a timely manner.
Research has shown paper checks are 16-times more likely to be lost, stolen, or manipulated than a payment made through direct deposit. Paper checks are also 22-times more likely to have a “non-receipt” or “delayed receipt” claim, meaning the Veteran or beneficiary did not receive their payment or the payment was running late.
Since VA began helping Veterans enroll in direct deposit in 2019, fraud has decreased by 93%.
“We at VA are heartened that so many Veterans and VA beneficiaries have made the switch from paper checks to direct deposit, but we won’t rest until every Veteran has safe and timely access to their hard-earned benefits,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “I encourage all Veterans to work with us to connect with trustworthy financial institutions and make the switch to direct deposit.”
Recognizing the need to help Veterans and their families access financial products and services, VA partnered with the Association of Military Banks of America to create the Veterans Benefits Banking Program in 2019. Through VBBP, Veterans have access to 43 participating financial institutions to provide low to no-cost checking and savings accounts.
VBBP also provides Veterans a free session with either an Accredited Financial Counselor® through the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® or a credit counselor through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
Participating banks and credit unions can be found at VeteransBenefitsBanking.org.
Additional financial resources for Veterans include VetCents, a financial education program specifically designed for Veterans and their families that covers topics like budgeting, and Veteran Saves, an initiative that helps Veterans build financial resilience.
Veterans who already have a bank account and want to use direct deposit for their VA benefits may call 800-827-1000 or change their VA direct deposit information online.
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