The government issues 73 million payment each month and is phasing out paper checks for all benefit programs. The changes will affect people who get Social Security, veterans' benefits, railroad pensions and federal disability payments, but not tax refunds. Individuals will be required to get payments electronically, either through direct deposit, or a debit card for those who don't have bank accounts. The switch is mandated by a Treasury rule issued in December 2010.
There are exemptions to the requirement but they are not well publicized on the government's website. Individuals who are 90 and older won't be required to make the switch. People can also qualify for a waiver if using a debit card would impose a hardship, but the Treasury Department says those would be "extreme, rare circumstances. Don't wait for Social Security check in the mail - Yahoo! Finance