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Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1 What is Direct Deposit?

    With direct deposit, sometimes called electronic funds transfer or EFT, we send your payment straight to your bank account. It gives you immediate access to your money the day your payment is due. It also eliminates the risk of lost or stolen checks, forged signatures and identity theft.
  • 2 How long will it take for direct deposit to start after I apply?

    If you enroll on myPay, we usually can make the change within three to seven business days. As long as you sign up two weeks prior to your next payment, your next payment should be deposited directly to your bank account.  If however you enroll by mail, it could take 30 to 60 days from the day we receive your enrollment for direct deposit to start.
  • 3 How will I know when my direct deposit has taken effect?

    If you’re a myPay user, you can see the change by reviewing your myPay account three to seven business days after enrolling.  Otherwise, you will not receive notification from DFAS when your direct deposit starts. Please check your bank statement or contact your bank on pay day to see to see if your pay was deposited.  Please do not call DFAS to ask if your payment was deposited. We cannot view your bank accounts.

  • 4 I signed up for direct deposit last month, but I received my check by mail. What should I do?

    Please cash or deposit your check as you normally would. Direct deposit can take one to three payment cycles to start.
  • 5 Is this safe? I’m worried about the security of my money and my bank account.

    Yes, direct deposit is more secure than paper check.  As of July 2012, 93 percent of Social Security recipients and nearly 99 percent of DFAS customers are enjoying being paid on time without the risks of lost or misrouted mail. Direct deposit gives them the control they want over their personal finances while increasing their financial security.
  • 6 I don’t have a bank account. What bank do you recommend?

    As a federal agency, we cannot endorse banks or other businesses. Find a bank or credit union in your area that is reputable and provides the services you need at little or no cost. And make sure they offer FDIC coverage of your account and accept direct deposit. It’s the best way you can take control of your finances and protect yourself at the same time.
  • 7 How do I get a myPay account?

    If you've never used myPay, visit https://mypay.dfas.mil and click "Forgot or Need a Password" to have a temporary password mailed to you. Once you have received a password, return to the myPay home page and click "Create an Account" to get started. If you have trouble creating your account, please call myPay at 888-332-7411.
  • 8 If I don’t get a paper check every month, how will I know that you paid me?

    Please check your bank statement or contact your bank on pay day if you want to confirm that your pay was deposited.  Please do not call DFAS to ask if your payment was deposited. We cannot view your bank accounts. myPay users also can view a Leave and Earnings Statement or electronic Retiree Account Statement (eRAS) on myPay.
  • 9 Why can’t I continue to receive my paper check?

    The U.S. Department of the Treasury established rules for DFAS and other government agencies to comply with a law that requires all federal payments to be made electronically, instead of by mailed paper check, by March 1, 2013. Electronic payments are mandated by 31 U.S.C. 3332 and Title 31, Part 208 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations. This measure provides significant savings to American taxpayers who will no longer incur the $120 million price tag associated with paper checks – a number that would have grown as tens of millions of baby boomers began to retire.
  • 10 What if I don’t switch to direct deposit?

    We understand that a small number of benefit recipients might not be able to open bank accounts, so we're working to provide a debit card option similar to the one Treasury is offering for Department of Veterans Affairs and Social Security payment recipients. We will provide details about the debit card option as they become available.
     
    If you do not sign up for direct deposit, we reserve the right to issue you a debit card and apply your payment to that card when the debit card program becomes available. Until then, you will continue to receive your payment by check as you normally do.
  • 11 Can I get a waiver?

    If you were over 90 years of age by May 1, 2011, and you currently receive your payments by mail, you do not have to do anything. You will automatically continue to receive your payments by check. Otherwise, if you want to continue receiving paper checks, you must apply for a waiver. You can only qualify for a waiver if you meet one of the following conditions:

    1) You have a mental impairment (doctor’s note recommended but not required).
    2) You live in a remote location where the infrastructure does not support use of electronic payment products. For example, direct deposit is not available or there are no ATMs or point of sale locations to utilize a debit and/or prepaid card.
  • 12 How do I apply for a waiver?

    We are working with Treasury to establish a waiver process and will share instructions on how to apply for a waiver as soon as they are available. Please do not apply for a waiver unless you believe you meet one of above-referenced conditions.