TN 6 (08-04)
GN 00506.220 When Fees for Service Cannot Be Collected
A fee cannot be collected from a beneficiary if any of the following apply:
No payment is due for that month, or
The organization was determined to have misused the beneficiary’s funds in the month, or
The organization is receiving compensation, including court/guardianship fees, for performing any representative payee services for the individual from another source (that equals or exceeds the payee’s allowable fee), or
Payee services were not performed in the month, or
Payee serves less than five beneficiaries.
NOTE: If a retroactive payment is received for a month in the past, (and no benefits were received in that month) the payee can collect the fee for that month as long as it meets all the requirements outlined in GN 00506.130 B.1.
EXCEPTION: A payee can collect a fee from another source in addition to Social Security, as long as the total fee collected does not exceed the amount authorized by SSA. Allowing the payee to collect a portion of the fees from another source is favorable to the recipient since it will be less money being taken from his/her benefits.
1. Payee dropped below the five beneficiary minimum
A beneficiary received a retroactive check on January 2002. This check covered past due benefits for the months of April through December 2001. Catholic Charities has performed payee services since April 2001. In June 2001, Catholic Charities dropped below the five beneficiary minimums. Therefore, it cannot collect any fees for the months of June through December 2001. It could collect a fee for April and May 2001.
2. Partial fees collected from another source
A FFS payee collects $23 per month in fees from a state agency as reimbursement for fiduciary services in that month for each beneficiary it serves.
Due to the fiduciary service/reimbursement, the payee must reduce his SSA fee by $23 from each beneficiary. For example, a DAA Condition beneficiary receives $400 per month. In this instance, the SSA fee is $40 less $23.
3. Beneficiary incarcerated
An SSI beneficiary was arrested and incarcerated on July 4, 2002. She spent 30 days in the county jail, and then on August 5 she was sentenced to six months and transferred to the state penitentiary. In addition to SSI, the beneficiary receives a monthly private pension. The payee did not report the incarceration until October 15. The payee continued to act as such, and paid the beneficiary’s bills. The payee thought she (the payee) could still charge a fee from the SSA benefits, because she alleged she continued to write out monthly checks to the landlord and the utility companies to keep the beneficiary’s apartment while she was in jail. In this instance, the payee must refund the fees collected for the months of incarceration since benefits were not due for these months.