Veterans receiving their federal benefit checks by mail must switch to a different system by March 1, the Department of Veterans Affairs said.
Veterans can get their benefits through direct bank deposit or with a prepaid debit card where the U.S. Treasury deposits benefits directly to the debit card. Delivering benefits electronically is expected to save the government money.
Use of the debit card is available to veterans who do not have a bank account or don't want to open one.
Agencies serving Columbus veterans said the change will have little or no impact on veterans.
"Most people are not going to be affected," said Lionel Haynes, who works in the Georgia Department of Veterans Service office on Third Avenue. "Everybody has been made aware. It's really not going to affect many because they have been aware of it for awhile."
Veterans visiting the office have been reminded about the change, Haynes said.
Jay Wilkoff, a veteran service officer at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 665 on Victory Drive, said the post has 840 members and most already have direct deposit for their benefits.
"Just about everybody is direct deposit," said Wilkoff, a Vietnam veteran.
Even homeless veterans receiving benefits are taking advantage of direct deposit, said Liz Dillard, director of the Homeless Resource Network on Second Avenue.
Last year the network served more than 125 homeless veterans and about seven received federal benefits, including veterans or Social Security. The network provides a post office box for many of the homeless to get their benefits checks, but activity has dropped sharply.
"In the last year, that has change," Dillard said.
Some of the homeless may not understand how the process works or what it means, but they realize the change.
"For the most part, people know this is coming," Dillard said.
Retired Army Sgt. 1st Class Walter White who served twice at Fort Benning before retiring more than four decades ago, said he's never received a benefit check at his house.
"People always had a choice," said White, a member of VFW Post 665. "You could have it sent directly to your bank or have it sent to your house. I started from the beginning. I wouldn't know what it would look like if they sent it to me."