TN 6 (09-02)

GN 00603.070 Payment of Large Amounts of Accumulated or Conserved Benefits — Title II Only

A. BACKGROUND

Accumulated funds may include some or both of the following:

  • Benefits which accrued prior to an award (retroactive benefits) or while payment was suspended for selection of a new payee.

  • Conserved benefit funds returned to SSA by a former payee for reissuance to a new payee.

B. POLICY

Advise the former representative payee who has conserved funds to return them to SSA.

1. General Policy

All accumulated funds are paid to the person whose selection as payee is in effect at the time of payment. Anyone who claims a share of the funds as reimbursement for care of the beneficiary during months for which accrued benefits are payable should present his/her claim to the current payee. See GN 00602.030 -- Claims of Creditors.

EXCEPTION: For SSI disabled children with a payee, if past due benefits (less any IAR) exceed six times the FBR plus any federally administered optional State supplement, such benefits must be paid into a dedicated account.

CAUTION: FO direct input of payee appointments will automatically release all accrued benefits. If installments are needed, the PC must take the action. See GN 00603.085. Installment Payment of Accumulated or Conserved Funds -- Title II only.

Accumulated funds will be included in the first payment or paid as soon as possible after selection of the new payee. Installment payments or temporary withholding of accumulated funds will be made only in certain situations. Consider such factors as:

  • The payee's ability and experience in handling another person's funds, including plans for using the accumulated funds,

  • The payee has been conditionally appointed,

  • The payee is friend of the beneficiary who does not have custody of the beneficiary,

  • Investigation of the payee raised question(s) about his/her suitability,

  • The current and foreseeable needs of the beneficiary are such that installments are needed, and

  • Any other reason you believe this payment arrangement may be necessary in order to protect the best interests of the beneficiary.

NOTE: If the former payee does not respond to SSA's requests or refuses to return the conserved funds which amount to less than $3,000, develop for possible misuse of benefits. If the amount of the conserved is $3,000 or more, refer the case to regional programs staff for referral to the Department of Justice for possible civil suit. See GN 02215.150 -- When a Title II/Black Lung Debt is Referred for Civil Suit.

2. Beneficiary In Direct Payment

Pay accumulated funds to a beneficiary in direct payment in a lump sum unless:

  1. Payee or capability development is pending, or

  2. The beneficiary requests installment payments.

3. Beneficiary In Representative Payment

Pay accumulated funds of less than $4,000 without development unless otherwise indicated. Funds amounting to over $4,000 require evaluation of the payee's ability to handle this large amount of funds if the payee is not the beneficiary's:

  1. Natural, step parent, or adoptive parent with custody of the beneficiary;

  2. Spouse with custody of the beneficiary;

  3. Child with custody of the beneficiary;

  4. Legal guardian;

  5. Bank or trust company; or

  6. Social agency or a public or nonprofit institution or organization whose principal activities include direct care and maintenance or treatment of children or incapable adults.

NOTE: See GN 00603.010B.1. -- Exception for Parents and Spouses for additional information.

Recommend the method of disbursement; e.g., lump sum or installment payments, that best serves the interests of the beneficiary and document this information on a RC. Selection of another payee may be indicated if it appears that the payee will require close supervision while handling the funds.

C. REFERENCES

  • Direct Payment Prohibitions -- GN 00502.010

  • Developing Capability - Adult Beneficiaries -- GN 00502.020

  • Payment of Large Retroactive Benefits or Conserved Funds -- GN 00502.186

  • Dedicated Accounts for Disabled/Blind SSI