United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Feb 03, 2023
In this section, “original check”—
means an order for the payment of money—
payable on demand;
that does not bear interest;
drawn by an authorized disbursing official or agent of the United States Government; and
the amount of which is deposited with the Treasury or another account available for payment; and
does not include coins and currency of the Government.
When the Secretary of the Treasury is satisfied that an original check is lost, stolen, destroyed in any part, or is so defaced that the value to the owner or holder is impaired, the Secretary may issue a substitute check to the owner or holder of the original check. Except as provided in subsection (c) or (f) of this section, the substitute check is payable from the amount available to pay the original check.
When the Secretary is satisfied that an original check drawn on a depositary in a foreign country or a territory or possession of the United States is lost, stolen, destroyed in part, or is so defaced that its value to the owner or holder is impaired, the drawer of the original check (or another official designated by the Secretary with the approval of the head of the agency on whose behalf the original check was issued) may issue to the owner or holder of the check a substitute check. The drawer or official shall issue the substitute check by the last day of the fiscal year after the fiscal year in which the original check was issued—
using the current date; and
drawn on the account of the drawer of the original check or another account available for payment of the substitute.
A substitute check issued under this section—
may be paid only if the original check has not been paid;
shall include information necessary to identify the original check;
that is drawn on the Treasury—
is deemed to be an original check; and
is paid under the same conditions as the original check; and
does not relieve a disbursing or certifying official from liability to the Government for payment resulting from erroneously issuing the original check.
Before issuing a substitute check under this section, the Secretary may require the owner or holder of the original check to agree to indemnify the Government with security in the form and amount the Secretary decides is necessary.
The Secretary may waive any provision of this section as may be necessary to ensure that claimants receive timely payments.
Under conditions the Secretary may prescribe, the Secretary may delegate duties and powers of the Secretary under this section to the head of an agency. Consistent with a delegation from the Secretary under this subsection, the head of an agency may delegate those duties and powers to an officer or employee of the agency.
cite as: 31 USC 3331