TN 8 (07-11)
GN 00503.430 Language Describing Legal Basis for the Selection of a Representative Payee
If a state court, state agency, or legal guardian is protesting our selection of a
representative payee, incorporate one or more of the following paragraphs in a letter
describing the legal basis for our decision.
The designation of payees to receive Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance
benefits on behalf of minor children and incapacitated adult beneficiaries is made
pursuant to the provisions of section 205(j) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C.,
section 405(j)) which reads as follows:
"If the Commissioner of Social Security determines that the interest of any individual
under this title would be served thereby, certification of payment of such individual's
benefit under this title may be made, regardless of the legal competency or incompetency
of the individual, either for direct payment to such individual, or for his use and
benefit to another individual or an organization."
Pursuant to this provision, the Social Security Administration selects the individual
it determines to be in the best position to serve the interests of the beneficiary
and to disburse the benefits on his or her behalf. The appointment or existence of
a legal guardian or other fiduciary does not limit the discretionary authority conferred
on the Secretary by section 205(j) of the Social Security Act to select a payee. Court-appointed
fiduciaries are however, selected as payees when such designation under the circumstances
of the particular case best serves the interests of the beneficiaries.
The individual or organization designated as representative payee under section 205(j)
of the Social Security Act, is authorized and directed to apply the Social Security
payments for the use and benefit of the beneficiary. The relationship created between
the beneficiary and the representative payee is analogous to that type of trust wherein
the trustee is directed to use his or her discretion in making proper disbursement
of trust funds.