TN 7 (03-02)

GN 00602.130 Improper Use of Benefits

A. DEFINITION

Improper use means an unwise expenditure of Social Security and/or Supplemental Security Income benefits. Improper use of benefits occurs when a representative payee allocates benefits for the beneficiary but not in the best interests of the beneficiary. Where the beneficiary has unmet current maintenance needs, saving benefits would serve very little purpose and would not be in the beneficiary's best interests. (See GN 00603.000 for conservation and investment policies.)

EXAMPLE: A payee uses the monthly benefit payment to purchase a television for the beneficiary rather than paying the rent on the beneficiary's apartment. This is an improper use of benefits because the payee failed to apply the benefit payment toward the beneficiary's current maintenance needs.

B. PROCEDURE

Discuss the beneficiary's situation and the applicable regulations with the payee. Suggest a better distribution of the benefits.

If the payee is unable or unwilling to change his/her practices, develop for a successor payee.

If the payee agrees to correct his/her practices, follow up twice at 3-month intervals to be sure proper use continues.

Do not request restitution.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200602130
GN 00602.130 - Improper Use of Benefits - 03/05/2002
Batch run: 01/27/2009
Rev:03/05/2002