As Christina Shantz recalls it, "the line of customers would be out the door" when she arrived at the office early in the morning of the third day of each month.

Little surprise. The branch of NationsBank where she worked was directly across the street from the Wynmoor Retirement Community in Coconut Creek, Fla. It was a monthly ritual to queue up for the communal depositing of Social Security checks the morning after they arrived in the mail.

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