Aug 21, 2013

Treasury Agrees To Scale Back Paper Check Threats

     From the Columbus Dispatch:
Seniors who were threatened with the loss of their benefits if they did not trade in their paper checks for Social Security benefits paid through a debit card or electronic deposit might be getting a reprieve.
The Treasury Department has agreed to make it easier for them to request a waiver to the electronic requirement, after a hearing held by Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., chairman of the Senate’s Special Committee on Aging. ...
The Treasury Department already had said it would waive the electronic conversion for seniors who were 90 years old as of May 1, 2011. But in a letter to Nelson last week, the department said it will stop using threatening language in letters to beneficiaries who have not embraced electronic access. ...
Treasury reported granting roughly 3,000 automatic waivers based on age as of June, said Rebecca Vallas, representing the National Consumer Law Center, National Senior Citizens Law Center and the Senior Law Center. Yet, more than 300,000 Social Security beneficiaries are 92 or older, she said.
The department also is supposed to grant waivers to people with a mental impairment or who live in an area so remote that an electronic payment would hinder their access to benefits.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Surprise! Who new that people quite often don't accept changes without some resistance? Oh, wait, that's widely known.

I agree, threatening language should not be used. No one should be told they won't get their benefits just because its not direct deposit. But how about this novel idea, why don't the advocacy groups for seniors and the mentally challenged and the poor come to the table with some outreach for these groups to help ease the transition? Instead of fighting changes that are going to happen, why not teach people the benefits of electronic deposit and how in most cases it's beneficial? There should be exceptions, but it seems they want to go back to making paper checks the standard, and that's no good.