TN 10 (12-98)
GN 02410.010 Power of Attorney
A power of attorney (POA) is a written document authorizing one person to act as another's agent or attorney.
POA’s are given so that the designated “attorney” can transact business for the person giving the POA. In some cases a person holding a beneficiary's POA may try to use it as authority to negotiate the beneficiary's Social Security or SSI checks.
Treasury Department (TD) regulations (31 CFR 240.17) govern the use of POA's to negotiate Federal government checks.
1. General POA
TD regulations do not permit a general (including durable) POA to be used to negotiate Social Security or SSI checks.
2. Special POA
While domestic FI’s can use these forms for delegation to deposit checks, they are given primarily to foreign banks (see GN 02402.115).
3. Specific POA
A specific POA is given after the issuance of a check and describes the check in full. It may be used by the holder to negotiate only that benefit check.
4. Possible Assignment
Avoid sending payments to a third party holding the beneficiary's POA (unless that party is an FI holding a special POA). (The fact that a third party has a beneficiary's POA could imply an intent to use it to negotiate the beneficiary's checks. Sending the check to the third party could facilitate an assignment.)