Management of Federal Agency Disbursements
The Department of the Treasury (Treasury), Financial Management Service (FMS), is amending its regulation to require recipients of Federal nontax payments to receive payment by electronic funds transfer (EFT), effective May 1, 2011. The effective date is delayed until March 1, 2013, for individuals receiving Federal payments by check on May 1, 2011; and for individuals who file claims for Federal benefits before May 1, 2011, and request check payments when they file. Individuals who do not choose direct deposit of their payments to an account at a financial institution would be enrolled in the Direct Express[supreg] Debit MasterCard[supreg] card program, a prepaid card program established pursuant to terms and conditions approved by FMS. Treasury waives the EFT requirement for recipients born prior to May 1, 1921, who are receiving payments by paper check on March 1, 2013; for payments not eligible for deposit to a Direct Express[supreg] prepaid card account; and for recipients whose Direct Express[supreg] card has been suspended or cancelled. In addition, this rule establishes the criteria under which a payment recipient may request a waiver if the EFT requirement creates a hardship due to his or her mental impairment or remote geographic location.
Federal Government Participation in the Automated Clearing House
The Department of the Treasury, Financial Management Service (FMS) is amending its regulation governing the use of the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system by Federal agencies to permit the delivery of Federal payments to prepaid debit cards that meet certain criteria. To be eligible to receive Federal payments, a card must provide the cardholder with pass-through deposit or share insurance and the card account must not have an attached line of credit or loan feature that triggers automatic repayment from the card account. In addition, the issuer of the card account must provide the cardholder with all of the consumer protections that apply to a payroll card under the Federal Reserve Board's Regulation E.