Putting SSD benefits on plastic is causing problems

Since 1996, there has been a push to move the distribution of Social Security Disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income away from paper checks. The push for the Electronic Funds Transfer program has had its effect. Approximately 85 percent of all SSD and SSI payments had been moved into electronic form by the year 2010. 

According to recipients and those at a recent Senate Special Committee on Aging, not all of the effects would be considered positive. In fact, it seems as though fraud and fees have become an issue for recipients. 

Fraud has become an ever-growing issue, and while it did exist before the transfer to electronic payments, the new program has opened some more doors for abuse. Scammers contact recipients and prompt them to share personal information. Once the information has been procured, they individuals then divert recipient benefits. 

A recent AARP study found that scams such as these, between October 2011 and June 2013, resulted in $28 million taken out of the hands that needed the money. 

As with any requests for personal information, those that are asked to share it over the phone should hang up. If it is truly the agency, department or company it portrays itself to be, they will understand when a recipient contacts them in the reverse order. 

In other instances, it is not criminal fraud, but it is costing many recipients such as veterans, injured workers and senior citizens all the same. This other cost comes by way of ATM withdrawal fees, online bill pay fees and money transfers. 

For any issues relating to obtaining or continuing to receive benefits, there are experienced SSD attorneys in Minnesota that can help. 

Source: Main St, "Are Fees, Fraud Eating Away at Your Social Security?" Shelby Bremer, July 1, 2013

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