TN 7 (03-02)
GN 00602.001 Use of Benefits
20 CFR 404.2035 – 404.2045, 20 CFR 416.635 – 416.645
1. Representative Payee Responsibilities for Benefit Use
A payee, subject to SSA policy and regulations, has the responsibility to use the benefits received on behalf of a beneficiary only for the use and benefit of the beneficiary. The payee receives the benefit with the full right and duty to spend it, in the best interests of the beneficiary, according to his/her best judgment.
2. Proper Use of Benefits
A payee must use benefits to provide for the beneficiary's current needs such as food, clothing, housing, medical care and personal comfort items, or for reasonably foreseeable needs. If not needed for these purposes or, in title II only, for the support of the beneficiary's legally dependent spouse, child, and/or parent, the payee must conserve or invest benefits on behalf of the beneficiary.
1. FO Responsibility
Give the payee complete information about the use of benefits; i.e., proper disbursement and how benefits should be conserved or invested. Ensure that the payee understands the fiduciary nature of the relationship, and that benefits belong to the beneficiary and are not the property of the payee.
Inform the payee about the penalties for using benefits other than for the benefit of the beneficiary and that an annual accounting is required. Advise the payee that if he/she uses benefits other than for the benefit of the beneficiary he/she will be required to make restitution to the beneficiary.
Be alert to any information received through accounting reports, complaints from the beneficiary, or third party reports that benefits are not being used or conserved properly. Be alert for conduit payee situations that may indicate lack of payee interest. A payee who turns over the full amount of benefits to the beneficiary or another person without giving any direction or instruction about how to use the funds is acting as a conduit.
2. PC Responsibility
Be alert to any information received through accounting reports, complaints from the beneficiary, or third party reports that benefits are not being used or conserved properly.