Apr 8, 2014

What Happens When An SSI Recipient Fails To Cash Their SSI Check?

     Social Security still issues some checks to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients. What happens if they don't cash those checks? The Department of the Treasury, which actually cuts the checks, notifies Social Security that a check wasn't cashed within a reasonable time. You'd think that Social Security would then check to see what was going on. Is the intended recipient dead? Is the intended recipient in prison? Is the intended recipient in a nursing home and no one is taking care of his or her affairs? There's lots of possible explanations why a really poor person wouldn't cash a check and most of them suggest that Social Security should check to see what had happened. A recent report of Social Security's Office of the Inspector General suggests that most of the time nothing is done. Specifically, in 100 cases picked at random, nothing was done in 87 cases. 
     This sort of laxity can happen at any agency at any time but it's been happening a lot at Social Security in recent years and lack of adequate funding has a lot to do with it. There aren't enough warm bodies to get all the work done.


Anonymous said...

"There's lots of possible explanations why a really poor person wouldn't cash a check and most of them suggest that Social Security should check to see what had happened."

Why? To issue the death benefits?? Really, what do you expect us to do? You all can't even keep track of your claimant's when they are attempting to get benefits. What possible difference can it make to us why they are not cashing their checks? Homeless, in the hospital, knocked in the head down by the river? I really don't see your contrived concern over this issue. With the millions of other issues more pressing, this is low on the list, if not the bottom of the list..

Anonymous said...

Are you serious? Should we also try and track all the ones down where we get "undeliverable" or other such info from the postal service?

SSA is not a tracking agency. It's job is to issue benefits and determine who is eligible for benefits. Keeping track of what people do with benefits is far outside the scope of the mission of SSA.

Anonymous said...

Uncashed SSI checks? I thought they needed the money to live. Spare me those stories about some very rare situations. Or do you want Uncle Sam to be under every bed and in every kitchen to be sure all is well? Yes, that's the ticket. Pay for a bigger government to make sure people cash their government checks.

Anonymous said...

These reports always focus on one very narrow area of performance without examination of the overall demands on the agency and their limited staff.

I doubt you will ever see more staff. So I suggest that OIG examine the workloads that should be simplified or eliminated given the current staffing levels.

Anonymous said...

is this realy what OIG does? How about doing some investigation to see if the people cashing checks are actually disabled?

Unknown said...

Actually i get ssi and in fact ssa did seek me out specifically to ask if i had recieved and cashed a check i never recieved due to address issues so id say there a tracking agency .