Casey Calls For Expanded Social Security Screening
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey says a pilot program designed to prevent criminals from becoming managers of a person's Social Security benefits has screened out dozens of people convicted of fraud and violence.
The Pennsylvania Democrat now wants the Social Security Administration to expand and improve the initiative, which was launched last summer in five states and Washington, D.C., after a convicted killer on parole in Philadelphia allegedly kept several mentally disabled people captive while cashing their benefits checks.
In a letter to Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue, Casey asks the federal agency to provide him with more information on goals, methods and a timeline for a revamped background check system. Casey's office provided a draft of the letter Sunday to The Associated Press.
About 5.6 million representative payees - those who receive benefits on behalf of people who cannot manage the funds themselves - handle $61 billion in Social Security payments each year for about 7.