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Regulations & Guidance

Garnishment Final Rule

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.

31 CFR Part 212, Final Rule

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Garnishment of Accounts Containing Federal Benefit Payments:
Final Rule (31 CFR Part 212)

Frequently Asked Questions

31 CFR Part 212, Interim Final Rule

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Management of Federal Agency Disbursements

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

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Click here for the new Prepaid Card Interim Rule.

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.

Related Regulations


  • 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.


Agency Guidance

Vendor Guidance

  • EFT Vendor Payments Policy Guidance
  • 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.
  • Vendor Payments and the Delivery of Payment-Related Information:
    "What you need to know about the process and what to ask your financial institution"

   Last Updated:  March 14, 2014