13 Dec How to Set Up Direct Deposit for VA Benefits
Direct deposits are made electronically, and the recipient’s bank account is credited automatically. Direct deposits, also known as Automated Clearing Houses (ACH), are typically used for VA benefits, salary transfers, and Social Security payments.
To transfer the funds, you must have the recipient’s bank name, account number, and bank’s routing number. In some cases, they might provide you with a void check which would have all the information required.
What Is a Direct Deposit?
As stated above, a direct deposit includes the automatic transfer of payments from the payee’s bank account to the recipient’s bank account through electronic means. The funds are transferred automatically, so recipients do not have to wait for their payments, making the process quite convenient.
Why Do Veterans Need Direct Deposit?
The US Department of Veterans Affairs provides the payment of VA benefits through direct deposit. As a Veteran, you can receive the payment of GI bills, compensation, and pension through the online transfer of funds, which makes the process extremely easy and convenient.
Also, unlike a traditional transfer, you wouldn’t have to wait for the funds to come to your account. You could have immediate access to your VA benefits payment within seconds of transfer.
Here are some of the benefits of direct deposit for VA benefits:
- You don’t have to worry about losing the paper check.
- You don’t have to endure standing in long queues to submit the paper check into your bank account.
- You can have access to the VA benefits payment within seconds of transfer.
- You wouldn’t have to visit the VA office to receive the paper check.
- If you want to change the account where you receive the direct deposit, you can change it by visiting the VA’s official website.
How to Set Up VA Direct Deposit
Setting up a direct deposit for VA benefits payment is relatively easy. Here’s how to get started.
Setting up VA Direct Deposit With Existing Bank Account
To set up a VA direct deposit with a current bank account, you need to provide the following information to the VA-
- 9-digit bank routing number
- Bank account number
- Type of account
What if You Don’t Have a Bank Account
If you don’t have a bank account, you can set up a bank account with military-friendly or military banks and credit unions. You can also access the list maintained by the Veterans Benefits Banking Program (VBBP) for credit unions and banks that offer discounts to Veterans, service members, and family members.
The VBBP website lists all the banks and credit unions to help you set up a bank account to receive direct deposits. This program is also geared towards helping Veterans and service members with poor credit access financial services.
How to Change Your VA Direct Deposit Information
You must keep your direct deposit information updated at all times to get your VA benefits payment on time and conveniently. There are several ways through which you can update your direct deposit information.
Update Information Online
You can update or change your VA direct deposit information online by accessing VA’s official website. Here’s a breakdown on how to make changes-
- Start by logging into your VA.gov account. If you do not have an account, you can create one by visiting VA’s official website. You can also log into your DS Logon account, me account, or MyHealtheVet account if you don’t have a VA.gov account. You can also make a VA.gov account on ID.me.
- After logging in, go to the left-hand side of the screen and click on direct deposit.
- Clicking on it will direct you to a page that will include your current direct deposit information. You can edit your information here. The page will also have help screens to help you enter the bank routing number and account information.
If you are a GI bill benefit recipient, you need to go to the VA’s benefits portal and log into your account. After logging in, go to my profile and click on direct deposits.
Updating Information By Phone
If you wish to update information by phone, you can call 800-827-1000 (TTY 711). The line is available from 0800 to 1700 M – F Eastern Time. If you are residing outside the US, call 918-781-7550.
Updating Information in Person at VA Regional Office
You can visit a regional VA office and ask them to change your direct deposit information for you.
Updating Information Through the Mail
To update your direct deposit information through the mail, fill out the SF-1199a form and send it to the VA. You can get this form on US Treasury’s website. To confirm the mailing address, you can call 800-827-1000.
How Long Does It Take for the Change to Take Place?
You can change your direct deposit information for VA benefits almost instantly. However, if you have recently edited the information, it is recommended that you wait until you receive the payment into your new account before closing the previous account permanently.
Getting a Checking Account to Have Direct Deposit
If you receive VA compensation, pension, or GI bill payments, opening a direct deposit account will ensure that you receive payments consistently and conveniently. In addition to making the entire process quick and easy, a direct deposit will also allow you to access the funds almost immediately after the transfer.