Guidance on Cashing and Accepting for Deposit Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Assistance Checks and Government Benefit Checks Issued by the U.S. Treasury
The Financial Management Service (FMS) is publishing additional guidance related to the cashing and accepting for deposit of U.S. Treasury checks for FEMA Disaster Assistance payments and Federal benefit payments (Treasury assistance and benefit checks), such as Social Security payments, to recipients who resided in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. Depository institutions and retailers have experienced difficulty in confirming the identity of Hurricane Katrina evacuees seeking to cash Treasury checks. To encourage depository institutions and retailers to cash Treasury assistance and benefit checks for these individuals, FMS has established an interim policy to relieve depository institutions from liability in a reclamation action based on a forged or unauthorized indorsement. Under the interim policy, Treasury will relieve depository institutions from liability for cashing or subsequently accepting for deposit a Treasury assistance or benefit check bearing a forged or unauthorized indorsement, provided that the procedures set forth in the interim policy are followed.