Inside the Mutilated Currency Department

Inside the Mutilated Currency Department
Dan Amira sent this ripped $10 bill into the department and received a check for its value.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Tucson News Now) - Everyone who has ever earned a dollar has more than likely ripped a dollar or found one that was damaged.

Luckily, there's a little known part of the U.S. Treasury called the Mutilated Currency Division, which some have described as the customer service department for the dollar bill.

In NPR's popular podcast Planet Money, reporters had a chance to see what goes on behind the scenes of this little-known group of specialists.

According to the podcast, the division receives more than $30 million a year in damaged money from people who have salvaged it from house fires, floods, and accidental shredding.

After inspection for counterfeit money, the validity of the claim is assessed and if found true, a check is mailed to the sender for the value of the damaged bills.

Dan Amira, a listener of the podcast and Daily Show writer, decided to test the process himself.

Finding a worn and torn $10 bill, Amira attached the pieces to a note explaining how the bill was damaged and sent it off to the Mutilated Currency Department.

Roughly three months later, he received a check to replace the currency he had lost.

While it's true that you can do the same transaction at your local bank, large quantities of money are best sent to the Treasury.

Read the full story transcripts from Planet Money here and be sure to send your damaged goods for replacement.

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