Social Security benefit checks may be cashed up to one year after their issue date. If a beneficiary does not cash a check within one year, the Department of the Treasury returns the funds to SSA. When SSA receives the returned funds, it sends a letter to the beneficiary inquiring if the check was received and cashed. If the beneficiary responds to the letter, SSA reviews the beneficiary’s record, and if appropriate, reissues the check. If the beneficiary does not respond to the letter or indicates the check was cashed, SSA takes no further actions.
In response to the Inspector General’s report, SSA said it would not take action to reissue payments to these beneficiaries. SSA stated it properly followed its current policy for these beneficiaries, and reviewing the 140,977 cases was prohibitive and would divert scarce resources from other priority workloads.
To view the full report, click here, or for additional information, contact Jonathan Lasher, Assistant Inspector General for External Relations, at (410) 965-2671. Refer to Common Identification Number A-09-10-20133.