The interim final rule with request for public comment was published in the Federal Register on February 23, 2011. The final rule is effective June 28, 2013. This rule establishes procedures that financial institutions must follow when they receive a garnishment order against an account holder who receives certain types of federal benefit payments by direct deposit. For information pertaining to the garnishment exemption identifiers in benefit payments as well as additional information, see the Green Book, A Guide to Federal Government ACH Payments.
The final rule, published on December 21, 2010, amends 31 CFR Part 208 (Part 208) to require recipients of federal benefit and nontax payments to receive their payments by electronic funds transfer (EFT).
People applying for Social Security, Veterans benefits or other federal benefits on or after May 1, 2011, will receive their payments electronically starting with their first payment. People currently receiving federal benefit checks will need to switch to an electronic payment option by March 1, 2013.
Those who do not choose an electronic payment option at the time they apply for federal benefits or those who do not switch by the deadline will receive their benefit payments via the Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® card, so they will not experience any interruption in payment. People who are already receiving benefit payments electronically do not need to take action. They will continue to receive their payment as usual on payment day.
The Direct Express® card is a prepaid debit card program established pursuant to terms and conditions approved by the Financial Management Service.
People can also sign up for direct deposit of federal benefits by visiting www.godirect.org.
31 CFR Part 208
Management of Federal Agency Disbursements, Final Rule PDF File | HTML File
Interim Rule for Payments to Victims of Disasters and Emergencies
In accordance with 31 USC 3332, this interim final rule amends 31 CFR Part 208 (Part 208) to facilitate the delivery of federal payments to victims of disasters and emergencies. This amendment provides that the Department of the Treasury may establish and administer accounts for disaster victims in order to allow for the delivery of federal payments by EFT.
The Federal Register, Congressional Record, Congressional Bills and other federal government information are available online via GPO Access, a service of the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO).
Congressional Record, Congressional bills, Committee Information and other federal government information are available online via THOMAS, a service of the Library of Congress.
Treasury Financial Manual
Treasury's official publication for financial accounting and reporting of all receipts and disbursements of the federal government. Treasury's Financial Management Service (FMS) issues the TFM to provide policies, procedures, and instructions for federal departments and agencies, Federal Reserve banks (FRBs), and other concerned parties to follow in carrying out their fiscal responsibilities.
ACH Postage Payments
Federal agency guidance on how to format Treasury-Disbursed and Non-Treasury-Disbursed Agencies payment records when making ACH credit payments to the U.S. Postal Service for postage.Click here
to read TFM Bulletin no. 2006-07 "Guidance on Federal Program Agencies Making Postage Payments to the U.S. Postal Service."
Federal Agency Guidance for Classifying Payments A series of definitions for Salary, Benefit, Vendor, and Miscellaneous payments--the four main categories of payments disbursed by the Financial Management Service. The resulting guidance enables federal agencies to better classify their payments, making FMS reporting more precise.
Holistic Approach Learn about the Financial Management Service (FMS) implementation of a holistic approach with Federal Program Agencies (FPAs) to improve cash management practices governmentwide.
International EFT FMS' International Direct Deposit (IDD) is a program that establishes EFT service for foreign-resident payment recipients.
Agency Contact List A contact list for agencies with cash management and EFT-related questions and/or issues.
Corporate Trade Exchange (CTX):
A corporate ACH format that allows for up to 9,999 addenda records with approximately 800,000
characters. Given this large addendum record capability, full and complete remittance information
can be transmitted with the CTX payment. Therefore, it is possible for one CTX payment to cover
multiple invoices since full remittance information will be transmitted to the vendor's financial
institution together with the payment.
Vendor Express EFT/EDI Fact Sheet:
Information on electronically transferring money and remittance information through the
Automated Clearing House (ACH) network to commercial payees of federal agencies.