The Social Security Administration will stop mailing paper checks effective March 2013 and require recipients instead to have their payments sent electronically to a bank, credit union or debit card account.

The Florida Department of Elder Affairs is working to raise awareness about the change. According to the SSA, more than 90 percent of Social Security recipients already receive electronic payments. However, thousands of retirees in South Florida still get paper checks by mail.

Edith S. Lederberg, the executive director of the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Broward County, says one problem is that many seniors do not have bank accounts because of the fees. To address this issue, people without bank accounts can get a Direct Express Debit Card to access their benefits. This debit card has no monthly fees.

If you are receiving benefits such as Social Security Disability and are still getting a check in the mail every month, be prepared to change to an electronic payment.

If you are disabled and cannot work and have yet to apply for benefits, you should do so immediately. As long as you meet the government’s disability qualifications, you could be eligible to receive disability.

However, the Social Security system can often be confusing and challenging to understand. In fact, most applicants for Social Security Disability benefits are turned down the first time they apply. That is why many Florida residents rely on a knowledgeable Florida Social Security Disability law firm such as the Disparti Law Group, P.A., to assist with the complex process of applying for benefits.