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Office of Workers' Compensation Programs
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Division of Federal Employees' Compensation (DFEC)

EFT Conversion Information

The Department of the Treasury has finalized regulations which require agencies issuing federal payments to do so via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) instead of using paper checks. The Division of Federal Employees' Compensation (DFEC) worked with Treasury to set a deadline of June 1, 2013, to convert our workers' compensation benefit payments to EFT.

In addition to this website posting, DFEC will notify claimants of this impending change through various notices. An initial letter and EFT enrollment form will be sent to claimants on the periodic rolls in March of this year. A second letter will be sent in May as the June 1 deadline approaches. In addition, Treasury has been placing information about EFT conversion in all paper checks they issue and this practice will continue.

Any claimant who is currently receiving paper checks is strongly encouraged to contact their banking institution and arrange for EFT payments. Form SF-1199A should be completed and submitted to DFEC as soon as possible but no later than June 1, 2013. Any claimant who has not provided EFT information by the deadline will be referred to Treasury for enrollment in Treasury's Direct Express Program.

Any claimant who is currently receiving their FECA benefit payments electronically will also begin receiving their reimbursements (for things such as medical bills and travel associated with medical treatment) electronically effective April 1, 2013.

Here are some frequently asked questions about the EFT conversion process:

Why are we requiring claimants convert to EFT payments?
Recent Treasury regulations, specifically 31 CFR Part 208, set forth the general rule that requires Federal payments to be made by EFT. "Federal payment" means any nontax payment made by an agency, including, but not limited to, Federal wages and retirement payments; vendor and expense reimbursement payments; benefit payments; and miscellaneous payments.

Are all claimants required to provide EFT information?
All claimants are required to either provide EFT information or enroll in the Treasury's Direct Express program, with two exceptions: individuals who were 90 years old or older by May 1, 2011 and benefit payments made to foreign countries.

What happens if a claimant does not enroll in EFT by the required deadline?
Individuals who do not choose direct deposit of their payments to an account at a financial institution will be enrolled in the Direct Express Debit MasterCard card program, a prepaid debit card program. There are some limited fees associated with use of this MasterCard but most services are free. Please see the Direct Express Debit Card Program website for further information: http://www.usdirectexpress.com/edcfdtclient/index.html

Are there any exceptions to the requirement for either EFT or the Direct Express debit card?
Yes, the claimant may petition the Treasury for a waiver from the requirement. The Treasury is responsible for hearing the waiver appeal and making the final decision on the case.