Apr 20, 2007
Press Release
Queens, NY -- Infuriated by the Social Security Administration’s inability to get social security checks on time to 1700 of her constituents, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-Queens, Manhattan) today wrote to the Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue to find out what steps the Administration is taking to make sure that this fiasco never happens again.  The full text of the letter follows.

In discussing her concerns, Maloney said: “It simply is unacceptable for the Social Security Administration to miss 1700 checks to low-income SSI recipients.  Late checks mean that people are unable to pay their rent, their phone bills, their utility bills.  Late checks mean late fees.  Worst of all, late checks mean that people who are living on the margin may not be able to buy food or medicine.  Even though the Social Security Administration rushed to replace the lost checks, we simply cannot allow entire neighborhoods to miss timely delivery of SSI checks.  I want answers, and I am going to continue to push the Social Security Administration until they come up a satisfactory explanation and a plan to make sure this never happens again.”

April 20, 2007

The Honorable Michael J. Astrue
Social Security Administration
6401 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21235-0001

Dear Commissioner Astrue,

            I was extremely troubled to learn that 1700 individuals in my district did not receive Supplemental Security Income checks from the Social Security Administration at the beginning of April.  When my office called to inquire, the U.S. Postal Service advised that they had no record of a bulk mailing sent to two zip codes in my district in Queens (11101 and 11102) and two zip codes in Brooklyn.  While the Brooklyn checks were subsequently located, the Queens checks have not yet surfaced.  I am pleased to note that replacement checks were quickly issued; however, for low income individuals who rely on the timely delivery of their Social Security checks, the delay caused great harm.

            I would appreciate it if you could advise me:
1) What is being done to ensure that a missed delivery of this magnitude will not recur in the future?
2) Are there still individuals who have not received their checks?  If so, what is the Social Security Administration doing to reach out to them?
3) What is the Social Security Administration doing to try to enroll these individuals in direct deposit?

            Thank you for your prompt attention to this serious matter.  If you have any questions or comments, please call my New York Chief of Staff, Minna Elias, at 212-860-0606.

                                                             Very truly yours,

                                                            CAROLYN B. MALONEY
                                                            Member of Congress