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How to Set Up Direct Deposit for VA Benefits

The Veterans Affairs Administration (VA) made major changes in 2024 to how veterans receive their VA benefits. After April 20th, 2024, the VA requires all benefits recipients to get their VA payments via direct deposit.

This change comes after a prior change by the VA. The official site includes a press release stating that “Effective October 1, 2023, VA Facilities will not be able to generate paper checks for payments to Veterans without specific waivers from the Treasury.”

These two policies effectively end paper checks from the Department of Veterans Affairs for most VA benefits payments.

Learn more about VA benefits by reading our comprehensive guide.

What is Direct Deposit? 

Direct deposit is a mechanism that allows funds to be deposited directly into a bank account instead of having a paper check sent to the beneficiary by mail.

For those still receiving checks by mail, setting up direct deposit ensures funds can be accessed as soon as they are transferred. Remember that once this change goes into effect on April 20th, as mentioned above, the VA will no longer send paper checks through the U.S. mail. If you do not have Direct Deposit and recive VA benefits, you’ll need it going forward.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Changing Direct Deposit

Setting up direct deposit is necessary for veterans who don’t already receive direct deposit for VA benefits. If you haven’t already done so, you must verify your identity to set up or change your direct deposit information through VA.gov.

  1. Sign in to VA.gov using your Login.gov or ID.me account. If you do not yet have an account, you can follow these steps to create one.
  2. Once you are in your account, select your name from the navigation menu at the top right of the screen. A drop-down menu will appear, enabling you to click on “Profile.”
  3. When you advance to the profile screen, you will see a section titled “Direct deposit information.” From here, you can select “Manage your direct deposit information.”
  4. Upon advancing to the next screen, you will see the direct deposit information per benefit type.
  5. Enter and save your direct deposit information. This will require your account type (checking or savings), bank routing number, and bank account number. Once you have input the information and double-checked that the account information is correct, select “save” to store your direct deposit information. Once you have clicked save, your direct deposit information will be stored.

Tips for Managing Direct Deposit 

Managing your direct deposit is an important aspect of transitioning from receiving physical checks to getting direct transfers.

To effectively manage your direct deposit, it is recommended that you set up account alerts to be notified when you receive a deposit and regularly monitor your account to ensure that you receive the correct deposit amount.

Additionally, if you change your direct deposit information, take time to review the account information to ensure that it is accurate to avoid any delays in getting your benefits

How can I get Direct Deposit if I Don’t Have a Bank Account? 

If you are receiving VA benefits and do not have a bank account, you can use the Veterans Benefits Banking Program (VBBP) services to set up a bank account. The VA established this program in partnership with the Association of Military Banks of America (AMBA) to support the financial resiliency of veterans.

The VBBP connects VA beneficiaries with banks and credit unions that understand the financial needs of veterans and their families and provides a comprehensive list of veteran-friendly banks and credit unions.

The VBBP is committed to advocating for veterans, beneficiaries, and caregivers to have access to financial products and services. All banks and credit unions that participate with the VBBP must provide accounts to all qualified veterans.

If a veteran is not qualified, they must help the veteran become qualified to access a bank account. The services of VBBP are completely accessible to all veterans who receive VA benefits regardless of their credit score or legal history.

Other Things You Need to Know

If you receive both education and compensation payments, as of April 20th, 2024, the VA requires all payments to be routed through a single bank account. This includes disability compensation, pension, and education benefits. So, when you are at step four in the instructions, take a moment to ensure that all of your benefits payments are going to a single account.

If you need help setting up your direct deposit for VA benefits or have questions, call the VA at 800-827-1000 to speak to a live representative. You can also visit your nearest VA regional office to set up direct deposit in person.

Read more:  Financial Planning and Benefits for Military and Veterans

About the author

Sarah Tucci

Sarah is a Philadelphia-based writer. She comes to CollegeRecon with an interdisciplinary background in international relations and cultural heritage with an interest in understanding the intersection of armed conflict and cultural heritage, particularly in Eastern and Southeastern Europe. When not writing for CollegeRecon, Sarah enjoys traveling, watching documentaries, and hanging out with her beloved Pitbull, Brutus.