NOTICE: Processing Economic Impact Payment Checks to Representative Payees

May 21, 2020

Beginning on May 22, 2020, the Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service’s economic impact payment (EIP) issuance will include payments to representative payees of Social Security beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients. Social Security's Representative Payment Program provides benefit payment management for beneficiaries who are incapable of managing their Social Security or SSI payments. In such cases, the Social Security Administration appoints a suitable representative payee who manages the payments on behalf of the beneficiaries. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board make similar payments to fiduciaries or representative payees on behalf of some beneficiaries.

Although we expect a majority of EIPs to representative payees will be made electronically, Fiscal Service will also issue EIP paper checks to representative payees beginning with an effective pay date of May 29, 2020, but subsequent effective pay dates may also occur. Typically, check payments to representative payees are clearly designated. For example, “Susan Smith for” on the first line of the check and the second line of the check displays the beneficiary’s name. For EIP checks, there may be instances where the representative payee’s name on the first line of the check is truncated, missing the “for” designation or the “for” designation could appear twice. These anomalies should not, in and of themselves, prevent financial institutions and check cashers from negotiating the check.

Fiscal Service encourages financial institutions and check cashiers to verify the security features of a U.S. Treasury check and to use the Treasury Check Verification Application (TCVA). More information is available below.

Checks arriving before the effective pay date: As a reminder, the mailing of checks is timed to reach the payee by the pay date. Unless there are other issues, Treasury does not intend to dishonor a check that is cashed a few days before the pay date.

FAQs: Fiscal Service has also posted some frequently asked questions about economic impact payments (FAQs) online at https://www.fiscal.treasury.gov/news/useful-covid-19-links.html (Off-site). Fiscal Service will update these FAQs as needed when there is new information to provide.

U.S. Treasury Check Security Features: Financial institutions can also learn more about the security features of U.S. Treasury checks at https://tcvs.fiscal.treasury.gov (Off-site).

Treasury Check Verification Application: TCVA is a tool to help the financial industry verify U.S. Treasury checks, and may be found at https://tcvs.fiscal.treasury.gov (Off-site).

TCVA provides single query search capability for financial organizations, providing one of four results based upon a given Symbol, Serial Number, Dollar Amount and Routing Transit Number:

  1. U.S. Treasury Check was issued for the amount entered.
  2. U.S. Treasury Check has already been paid.
  3. The amount entered does not match Fiscal Service records.
  4. No match.

NOTE: TCVA is unable to provide assurance that the check being presented is genuine (not counterfeit) or that it is properly payable. Check information is not real-time and may not reflect that a check has already been presented for payment and is in process.

As of April 24, 2020, Fiscal Service completed enhancements to TCVA that allow financial institutions to obtain the same information provided by TCVA’s single query search capability described above through an application programming interface (or API) instead, when preferred. Also as of April 24, Fiscal Service has extended TCVA availability to support queries from Sunday 1:00 pm to Saturday 11:59 pm EST.

For more information about TCVA’s capabilities, please visit https://tcvs.fiscal.treasury.gov (Off-site) or contact Fiscal Service at (855) 868-0151 option #1 or paymentintegrity@fiscal.treasury.gov.

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