VA - Replacements for late checks begin to show up in the mail : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

October 12, 2000 VA - Replacements for late checks begin to show up in the mail

By CLAIRE BUSHEY ) 2000, The Virginian-Pilot

Travis Barfield of Norfolk got his federal retirement check Wednesday. Finally.

``It's been a job,'' he said.

Barfield's check was supposed to arrive Oct. 2. When it didn't, Barfield called the post office and his congressman.

Last Thursday a woman from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the agency that issues the checks, called Barfield and said he would receive a replacement check this week.

Barfield was one of thousands of federal retirees who didn't receive their retirement checks from the Office of Personnel Management last week. A spokesman said the office didn't know what caused the checks to disappear but is working with the U.S. Treasury and U.S. Postal Service to find the cause of the problem.

The glitch affected cities all along the East Coast, including South Hampton Roads, New York, Boston, Richmond and Washington, D.C., said Robert A. Anderson, a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service.

``The good news is that the replacement checks are coming through and being delivered,'' said Hervey Trimyer, customer relations coordinator for Norfolk and Chesapeake post offices.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management said it has reissued 7,000 checks to people who called the office's toll-free number to complain.

Only those who call the number, 1-888-767-6738, will have checks reissued to them.

The agency pays 2.4 million retirees -- 152,000 of them through the mail. Only those receiving payment in this manner were affected, the office's spokesman said.

Post offices weren't the only institutions swamped with calls from retirees. Democratic Rep. Owen B. Pickett's 2nd District offices in Norfolk and Virginia Beach received between 50 and 60 calls last week, said Pickett's chief of staff, Jeanne Evans.

After several of these calls, Pickett's office set up a system to deal with them. When retirees called, the representative's office kept them on hold while they called personnel management and got them to reissue a check, Evans said.

-- Doris (, October 12, 2000

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