Beneficiaries Who Receive Paper Checks

Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Report Number: 
Report Type: 
Audit Report
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As of March 1, 2013, the Department of the Treasury was requiring that all beneficiaries receive their Social Security benefits by electronic funds transfer (EFT) unless they met an exemption to this requirement.

Almost 2 years after the requirement was implemented, we identified over 845,000 Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance beneficiaries who continued receiving benefits by paper check.

We reviewed a sample of beneficiaries to determine whether these data could help the Social Security Administration (SSA) identify ineligible beneficiaries. We also wanted to determine why the beneficiaries had not converted to EFT to receive their benefits. Specifically, we selected 60 beneficiaries who were 70-years-old or older and had a mailing address within 100 miles of an Office of Audit location. We contacted and attempted to visit the 60 beneficiaries to confirm whether they were still eligible for benefits and to discuss the reasons they did not convert to EFT to receive their benefits.