Treasury Urges Ease On I.D. For SocialSecurity Payments

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WASHINGTON - (09/09/05) -- The Treasury Department called onbanks and credit unions Thursday to ease their regularidentification requirements for presenting Social Security andother government benefit check where presenters may be unfamiliarfaces; the hundreds of thousands of victims of Hurricane Katrina.Banks and credit unions that help ease identification requirementsfor recipients will be granted flexibility in the event of a checkforgery, the Treasury said. Rep. Richard Baker of Lousiana said asmany as 800,000 Social Security checks were mailed to recipeints inLouisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on Sept. 1 where mailboxes nolonger exist because they have either been destroyed are are underwater. He urged banks, credit unions and other financialinstitutions to help recipients gain access to their funds. Thebanks and credit unions were also notified that replacement checksfor many Social Security recipients, in the form of third partydrafts, are being issued to those unable to receive or locate theirregular Treasury checks. These third party drafts are legitimate,negotiable instruments, the Treasury said.

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