TN 11 (02-16)

GN 00506.600 Credit Reporting for New Fee-for-Service Applicants

A. Policy on fee-for-service representative payees

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is mandated by law and regulations to obtain specific information from the organization before authorizing them to serve as Fee-for-Service (FFS) representative payees.

To strengthen the investigation process for FFS payees, we obtain credit information about the potential FFS organizational payees from Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). SSA contracts with D&B to provide credit information on new non-governmental FFS organizational representative payees. We do not require credit reports for state or local governmental organizations.

The information we obtain in these credit reports provide SSA with a better understanding of potential risk factors that create representative payee business losses due to fraud, failure, or severe delinquency. The credit report information may provide an indication of any risk involved in the organization’s current or future performance as a representative payee.

B. Procedure to request a credit report for FFS applicants

The field office (FO) must verify that the potential new non-governmental FFS applicant has proper documentation prior to requesting a credit report analysis (see GN 00506.010). When all the documentation listed in GN 00506.010 is received, send an email with the organization’s name, address and telephone number to the Fee for Service Coordinator at OISP FFS Coordinator with a CC to your RO Program Support Team. The RO is responsible for ensuring that the FO has the complete FFS application package.

C. Checklist for FFS documentation you need to request a credit analysis

The following is a checklist for the FFS payee application:

  • SSA-445, Application to Collect a Fee for Payee Services
    Ensure that the organization is community-based and located in the neighborhood(s), city(ies), or county(ies) for which it serves (see GN 00506.010 for providing information to prospective organizations and FFS application requirements);

  • Information that the organization is serving five beneficiaries. The organization must have regularly served the beneficiaries for at least 30 days (the information must be in eRPS (see GN 00506.100 for criteria for receiving fees for service);

  • A copy of the organization’s mission statement (see GN 00506.010 for providing information to prospective organizations and FFS application requirements);

  • A current IRS 501C non-profit status (see GN 00506.100 for criteria for receiving fees for service);

  • A copy of the organization’s state license, if applicable (see GN 00506.100 for criteria for receiving fees for service);

  • A copy of the insurance policy or a surety bond (see GN 00506.105 for bonding and licensing guidelines for non-governmental Fee-for-Service (FFS) organizations); and

  • An addendum or rider, that covers officers of the organization (see GN 00506.105 for bonding and licensing guidelines for non-governmental Fee-for-Service (FFS) organizations).

    Central Office (CO) will contact D&B, obtain a credit report within ten business days, and send the credit information to the FO. CO will include the RO in its response.

D. Evaluating the Credit Reports

CO’s analysis of the credit report will consider factors of the organization’s business practices and the potential risk associated with the practices that may have bearing on their ability to be a suitable payee (for additional information on determining the need for a successor payee, see GN 00504.100).

Consider making a suitability determination if one or more of the following apply:

  • CO advises you that there are symptoms of financial distress. Request other items from the organization to assess the organization’s financial stability such as the organization’s bank statements, utility bills, and rent receipts. The FO should conduct a full suitability determination.

  • CO advises you that D&B has limited information. If no financial information is available, request other items from the organization to assess the organization’s financial stability such as the organization’s bank statements, utility bills, and rent receipts.

  • The credit report summary shows the financial informatio