TN 27 (02-06)
SI 02301.200 Suspensions, Stop Payments, Terminations, and Reestablishing Eligibility - General
Section 1631(e)(1) of the Social Security Act Social Security Act;
20 CFR 416.1321 through 416.1338
SSI recipients depend on their benefits to meet critical financial needs. Our objective is to pay recipients' benefits accurately and on time. We are also responsible for taking timely actions that adversely affect SSI eligibility and payments. Overpayments can cause additional hardship for recipients.
1. Recipient Difficulties
SSI recipients may have difficulty contacting SSA, reporting changes or understanding and responding to our notices and requests because of mental and physical conditions and difficulty communicating. They may also go in and out of temporary living arrangements and homelessness without having a way for us to contact them. Indications of recipients’ difficulties may be known to employees and found in field office (FO) files and systems records.
2. SSA Responsibilities
We must offer all SSI recipients assistance in understanding and responding to our notices and requests. Employees must:
Try to tailor assistance based on recipients' needs, if known, before personal contacts and during interviews.
Consider the need for a representative payee when it appears recipients might not be understanding our requests, managing benefits or meeting their needs.
Reevaluate capability and the need for a change in payee when it appears a payee might not be suitable or available.
Offer and provide assistance as needed and grant sufficient time for recipients to comply with requests for necessary information.
Offer and provide special notices and interpreters as needed.
3. Special Notices
Recipients and their representative payees may receive Spanish notices for actions that affect their SSI (NL 00801.025). Blind recipients may choose how they receive notices that affect their SSI (NL 01001.010).
Employees should provide interpreters when needed to ensure communication with non-English speaking recipients (GN 00203.011) and hearing-impaired recipients (GN 00203.012).
5. Special Interviewing Situations
Employees should be sensitive to the possibility of terminal illnesses and contagious diseases and follow special instructions in GN 00203.010.
GN 00502.100 - Determining the Need for, Developing and Selecting a Representative Payee
SI 00601.100 - Information/Evidence - General
SI 02301.235 - Failure to Provide Information (N20)