By Associated Press,
The concern is an unintended consequence of the Treasury Department’s decision to pay all benefits electronically, including Social Security, disability and veterans’ benefits, starting next year.
A separate Treasury Department rule, in place since May in a preliminary form, guarantees states the power to freeze the bank accounts of people who collect federal benefits and owe child support.
By allowing seizure of the remaining 35 percent of benefits, the rules could cause thousands of poor men to lose their only income.
“It’s kind of Orwellian, what’s being set up here for a segment of the population,” said Johnson Tyler, a lawyer who represents poor and disabled people collecting federal benefits. “It’s going to be a nightmare in about a year unless something changes.”
In many cases, the bills are decades old and the children long grown. Much of the money owed is interest and fees that add up when men are unable to pay because they are disabled, institutionalized or imprisoned.
Most of the money will go to governments, not to the children of the men … Read More