TN 9 (05-02)
GN 03106.063 Interim Benefit Orders
Court-ordered interim benefits are benefits that the court orders SSA to pay to a claimant until the court or SSA takes additional action. Court-ordered interim benefits may be paid based on a court order, a “bench” order, or a verbal commitment between the U.S. Attorney and the court.
An interim benefit order is not a determination of the claimant's entitlement to benefits. It is an order to pay pending some final action/determination on the part of SSA.
NOTE: Court-ordered interim benefits are not the same as “interim benefits” paid under the provisions of Public Law 100-647 (P.L. 100-647) or a continuation of benefits elected by the claimant while administrative appeal of a disability cessation is pending under P.L. 97-455 and P.L. 98-460 and subsequent versions of these public laws.
Benefits under P.L. 100-647 are paid when payment based on a favorable Office of Hearings Operations decision has not been effectuated within 110 days of the decision. This can occur when the AC has taken own motion review of an ALJ decision. (See DI 42010.205 and SI 02007.001 for interim benefits in cases of delayed final decisions.)
B. POLICY – BENEFITS PAYABLE
1. Payment Period
Interim benefits are payable only for the month(s) indicated by the court order. They usually begin with the month of the court order.
EXCEPTION: If SSI offset is involved, title II interim benefits are paid beginning with the current month only.
Impose usual deductions (i.e., worker's compensation offset), suspensions and terminations.
3. Additional Payments
Follow the interim benefit order if specific provisions address any of the following issues. If there are no specific provisions in the interim benefit order, do not:
Resume or entitle the claimant to Medicare (HI/SMI);
Withhold for attorney fees;
Attempt to recover any prior overpayments from interim benefits.
C. PROCESS – EFFECTUATION OF INTERIM BENEFIT ORDER
OGC will telephone the effectuating component when a court orders interim benefits and will provide the effectuating component with the following information:
Claim number on which benefits are to be paid;
Claimant's name and address;
Claimant's attorney's name and address;
A copy of the court order or written support for the interim benefit payments;
First month benefits are payable;
Last month benefits are payable if known;
Claim status (i.e., initial claim or cessation);
Any other pertinent information.
D. EXAMPLE - NOTICE LANGUAGE
The effectuating component must prepare a notice as follows:
“The U.S. District Court has ordered the Social Security Administration to pay temporary benefits to you until a decision is made regarding your claim. The court has not ruled on your eligibility to these benefits. If the court determines that you are not entitled to these benefits, these temporary payments will be considered an overpayment and you may have to pay them back. If you are overpaid, you will be advised of your rights with respect to the overpayment and its recovery.”
Send copies to the claimant, the claimant's attorney and OGC (see GN 03106.020B. for the address.)