There are exceptions to the general rule that the title of the account or sub account
must show the beneficiary's ownership of the funds. This exception applies if the
title meets all of the following conditions:
The payee is the spouse, natural parent or adoptive parent, or stepparent of the beneficiary,
The payee and the beneficiary live in the same household, and
The payee requests direct deposit to the payee's personal checking account, and
The field office (FO) confirms with the payee that benefits received are for the beneficiary's
current expenses and there will be no accumulation of funds in the account.
This exception applies for any category of title II or title XVI payments. The beneficiary
does not need to be receiving benefits as a disabled/blind child or disabled adult
child. The age of the “child” is not material. In addition, the exception applies
for the child's benefits whether the representative payee parent is the sole owner
of the account or is married and has a joint account with his or her spouse. For more
exceptions, see GN 00603.020 and GN 00603.010.
EXAMPLE 1: Sam Smith, age 62, lives with his mother and receives retirement benefits. He becomes
unable to handle his own benefits, and his mother becomes his representative payee.
She requests direct deposit to her checking account and states all benefits spent
are for her son's current expenses. The FO approves her request.
EXAMPLE 2: Betty Roe, age 25, qualifies for SSI benefits as a disabled individual. Her father,
with whom she lives, becomes her representative payee and requests direct deposit
to his own checking account. He states that all funds spent are for Betty's current
expenses. The FO approves the request.
EXAMPLE 3: Mary Jones files for survivor's benefits for her three children (ages three, five,
and seven), when their father dies. She requests direct deposit of their benefits
to her checking account, stating the children live with her and all benefits spent
are for the children and no money will accumulate in the account. The FO approves
EXAMPLE 4: (NOT ACCEPTABLE) Joe Johnson, age 8, becomes eligible for SSI payments as a blind child. His brother
James, with whom he lives, requests direct deposit of Joe's payments to James's checking
account. He states all of Joe's money is for Joe's needs and will not accumulate in
the account. Because James is not Joe's parent, the FO denies the request and provides
examples of account titles for a beneficiary with a representative payee. For another
exception that applies to trust agreement cases, see GN 02402.060.
Examples of master account titles for nursing home institutional representative payees
Sunnydale Nursing Home Resident Trust Account
Sunnydale Patient’s Fund for Social Security Beneficiaries