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My Social Security check was deposited into my bank account. Before my check was deposited, I wrote a check for an amount larger than what I had in my account and the bank used some of the money from my Social Security check to pay the extra amount of the check that was not in my account, plus the fee I was charged for making this mistake. May the bank do this?

Review your account agreement or contact the bank for an explanation of the bank’s overdraft policy. You may want to inform the bank that the source of the deposit was Social Security benefits. If you still have questions about your bank’s practices, you can also contact the OCC Customer Assistance Group at (800) 613-6743.

Last Reviewed: April 2021

Please note: The terms "bank" and "banks" used in these answers generally refer to national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches or agencies of foreign banking organizations that are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Find out if the OCC regulates your bank. Information provided on should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion of the OCC.

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