Of all the emails I receive, the single most popular question is: "How do I change the bank account to which my benefits are paid?" Direct deposit of benefits is a great thing, but some people find it difficult to figure out how to change the account once they have it set up.
The process for changing your bank account is a little different depending on what type of benefit, but it shouldn't be difficult.
Survivor Benefit Plan AnnuityIf you are receiving Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuity payments, the fastest and easiest way to change your direct deposit account information is through the Defense Finance and Accounting System (DFAS) myPay online account access system. If you don't already have a myPay account, it can take a little effort to set one up, but the benefit is worth the effort. You'll have 24 hour a day, 7 day a week access to your SBP annuitant account details, annual annuitant account statement, ability to change your direct deposit account, change your mailing address, and print tax statements.
If you are unable to set up a myPay account, or do not want to, then you will need to change your direct deposit information using the paper Direct Deposit Enrollment Form (FMS 2231), and fax or mail it to:
Defense Finance and Accounting Service U.S. Military Annuitant Pay P.O. Box 7131 London, KY 40742-7131
Paper forms may take up to 60 days to be processed.
Dependency and Indemnity CompensationIf you are receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the fastest and easiest way to change your direct deposit is using the VA's eBenefits website. Again, it make take a little effort to set up an account but it will make future transactions much simpler.
If you are unable to set up an eBenefits account, or do not wish to, then you can contact the VA by telephone at 1 (877) 838-2778, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:50 p.m. Central Time. You will need to provide your or contact them online at Department of Veterans Affairs website. Be prepared to provide your current and new financial institution's 9 digit routing number, your new account number and type of account (checking or savings).
Social SecurityIf you are receiving Social Security benefits, the fastest and easiest way to change your direct deposit is using the my Social Security website. As with most systems, getting set up might be a little challenging, but once you're in, it is a huge help to be able to access all your needs online.
If you are unable to set up a mySocialSecurity account, or do not wish to, you may contact Social Security by telephone at 1-800-772-1213.
If you're not sure what type of payments you are receiving, your bank statement may provide clues, or you can contact your bank branch to see if they can help you figure it out.
As a side note, keeping your mailing address and other contact information up-to-date with the three departments handling these benefits will help you with all sorts of transactions, including the changing of direct deposit.
Let me know if this doesn't work for you or if you discover that any information has changed.