LYNN (CBS) — Retired Air Force veteran and Lynn city worker Bruce Rideout has his government checks setup for direct deposit. So when he got his mail the other day and saw an envelope from the US Treasury, he was puzzled.
When he opened it and out fell a check from the Veterans Administration for two cents, Rideout was dumbfounded.
“I looked at it and laughed,” Rideout said. “Two cents, you know?”
Rideout has no idea what the check was for, and neither does the VA, telling WBZ in a statement: “The Veterans Benefits Administration has a policy not to issue a paper check for amounts under $5 nor an electronic transfer for less than $1 in beneficiary payments.”
Policy violated in this case, but Rideout is laughing it off and enjoying the amused reactions of others. Still, he says, it’s a waste of money.
“I don’t need two cents,” he said. “I don’t know anybody that needs two cents.”
And when you consider that the estimate of what it costs a private sector company to process and mail a check runs from $4 to $20, if a significant number of these bizarre checks are going out, we could be looking at substantial waste by an agency that needs every penny to overcome its glaring deficiencies in serving veterans.
“If I were the head of the VA sitting with you right now, what would you say to me about what happened?” I asked Rideout.
“You gotta be insane,” he answered with a laugh.