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Beneficiaries Are Urged to Return Blank Checks From Uncle Sam

February 07, 2003|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — About 50,000 Social Security checks missing the names of beneficiaries were mailed this week to recipients mostly along the East Coast, in the Midwest and Texas. The Treasury Department has asked banks to refuse to cash them.

Instead, the department is mailing replacement checks Saturday. People who were counting on money from their checks right away have little recourse but to wait.

The problem was caused by a software change, spokeswoman Alvina McHale said. Checks were printed and mailed Monday before the error was caught. They included about 41,000 checks mailed from Philadelphia and 9,000 from Kansas City, Mo.

Treasury officials alerted financial institutions to the glitch on Wednesday.

Beneficiaries are being urged to return the checks to their local Social Security Administration office, or to call 1-800-772-1213 for assistance.

People who successfully cashed checks that were missing their names are asked to return the replacement checks they receive next week to their local Social Security office. For those who cash both checks, the Social Security Administration will deduct a future payment, McHale said.

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