James Hagner, 83, of Anne Arundel County, said he opened his mail last week and was surprised to find the government check, one of millions sent to U.S. citizens on Social Security, addressed to his late mother, Rose, WBAL-TV, Baltimore, reported Tuesday.
"It shocked me and I laughed all at the same time," Hagner said. "I don't even expect to get one for myself, and I get one for my mother from 43 years ago?"
Social Security Administration officials said the mid-June deadline for mailing out the checks does not leave enough time for thorough examinations of the program's records. They said an estimated 10,000 of the 52 million checks that have been mailed out were addressed to deceased people.
"I just want to keep it as a souvenir. I'll never cash it," Hagner said.