Senior citizens and other recipients of federal benefits have until March 1 to meet the electronic payment deadline.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury reports that five million checks are still mailed to federal beneficiaries every month.

But everyone must switch to direct deposit or the Direct Express Debit MasterCard card by Friday, March 1.

Switching everyone makes it easier and safer for beneficiaries to receive payments, said David Lebryk, commissioner of the Treasury Department's Financial Management Service.

The York County Area Agency on Aging has been publishing notifications in its quarterly newsletter, New Horizons, for the past year to remind seniors to make the tran-

sition.

Prepared: Most of the seniors at the White Rose Senior Center in York City said they have already been getting direct deposit for several years.

Charles Wright, 71, of York City said he has been receiving his Social Security checks via direct deposit for the past 10 years, and before he retired he also received direct deposit from his employer.

The change doesn't concern him, he said.

Nationwide, 93 percent of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments are already made electronically, a news release said.

Converting the remaining 7 percent will save taxpayers an estimated $1 billion in the next 10 years.

How to do it: Anyone who still needs to make the transition should call 1-800-333-1795 or visit www.godirect.org.

Individuals will need their Social Security number or claim number, their 12-digit federal benefit check number and the amount of their most recent federal benefit check.

For direct deposit, they will also need their financial institution's routing transit number, account number and account type.

-- Reach Chelsea Shank at 505-5432 or cshank@yorkdispatch.com