In determining what constitutes a reasonable share of the child's benefits to contribute
toward the household expense items, the best interests of the child remain foremost.
Consider the family's household composition with the expectation that families pool
their resources. However, all family members may not be able to contribute proportionately.
The overall well being and stability of the family unit is of value to the child beneficiary
and, in limited instances may justify a somewhat disproportionate contribution of
the child's benefits to the household.
If the payee wants to contribute more than a proportionate share of the child's benefits
toward household expenses, consider whether a more than proportionate share is needed
to maintain the stability of the family unit. If so, more than a proportionate share
could be reasonable.
EXAMPLE: A mother, with custody of her four children, resides with them as a family unit.
Two of the children receive child's benefits and she serves as their representative
payee. The mother is unemployed and receives no support for the other two children.
The family has no income other than the social security benefits of the two children.
Under such circumstances, strict adherence to the use of benefits for the two child
beneficiaries, would jeopardize the family unit and consequently adversely affect
the living standard of the child beneficiaries.