TN 7 (03-02)
GN 00602.070 Group Purchases Beneficiary Resides in an Institution/Nursing Home or Other Group Living Facility
Pooling the personal funds of several beneficiaries to make group purchases is an acceptable use of benefits provided SSA approval is obtained prior to the purchase.
1. Evaluation Criteria
The evaluation criteria that will be applied to each group proposal include:
The item to be purchased meets a specific need of each beneficiary in the group and helps to enhance the beneficiary's life in the facility.
As a general rule, the beneficiary should have at least a 2-month accumulation of benefits after he/she participates in a group purchase. Additionally, no beneficiary should participate if his/her funds are needed to satisfy some other equal or greater need. Obtain a statement from the payee that none of the participants currently have unmet needs. Regional office staff may, on a case-by-case basis, waive the requirement that each beneficiary should have at least a 2-month accumulation of benefits after participating in a group purchase.
The payee is not expected to provide the item as part of his/her responsibility to care for the individual. Because of variations in the title XIX State plans, certification concerning reimbursement should be submitted by the institution with each group purchase proposal.
The amount contributed is proportionate to his/her personal use of, or advantage from, such a purchase.
The beneficiary is not expected to leave the institution in the near future, or must be in a position in the foreseeable future to benefit from the purchase to an extent at least equal to the value of his/her contribution.
2. Handling Requests for Group Purchases
If a representative payee contacts the FO for information about group purchases, explain the above guidelines. Emphasize that all group purchases must be approved by SSA before any funds are committed to them. All group purchase proposals are to be submitted to the regional office program staff, for approval or denial.