TN 33 (09-97)

SI 02305.123 Developing Rep Payee Suitability During RZs

A. Introduction

It is important that rep payees act in the best interest of recipients for whom they are receiving SSI payments.

Quality assurance data indicate that there has been more questionable suitability in cases where the rep payee is not a relative of the recipient and lives somewhere other than the recipient's household.

B. Policy

During an RZ, if the rep payee is not a relative and does not reside in the same household as the recipient, development of payee suitability is usually required.

A face-to-face interview is usually required with the recipient and the rep payee.

However, separate face-to-face interviews may be appropriate when the SSI recipient and the rep payee live in different geographic areas. Even though a second FO's assistance may be required, face-to-face interviews are especially important in these cases.

NOTE: Residence in different geographic areas may indicate a need for change of payee.

The face-to-face interview requirement may be waived when the interview would be clearly unproductive.

EXAMPLE: The recipient is comatose, or the interview would impose undue personal hardship on either the recipient or payee (due to hospitalization, work, travel a great distance to interview, etc.).

Other methods including telephone interviews with the party unable to come in, third party verification, etc., may be used to determine the payee's continued suitability.

C. Procedure

Use this procedure to develop rep payee suitability:

  • Review the Representative Payee (REPY) segment of the pre-RZ SSID. These cases are identified on Post Entitlement Operational Data Store (PE ODS) with an action code of “O.” See MSOM MISCINPUTS 002.002 for a list of action codes.

  • Develop rep payee suitability if the Type of Payee (T) code is “OTH” and the Custody (CU) code is “SEL”.

  • Schedule an appointment using an SSA-L3074-U2 or SSA-L3075-U2. Both the rep payee and the SSI recipient should be present, if possible.

  • Refer to the chart below for processing instructions and questions to ask during the RZ interview to help you determine payee suitability:

1Ask the payee and the recipient whether the recipient is able to manage his /her own funds. Determine if the payee is “managing” the funds or acting as a “conduit.”
 EXAMPLE: Does the payee give most or all funds to the recipient?
 If yes, develop direct payment unless statutorily precluded per GN 00502.020.
 If no, go to step 2.
2Ask the rep payee whether the recipient's funds are maintained separately from his/her own funds and how the funds are held.
 If funds are commingled, consider whether improper use or misuse may be involved, and develop per GN 00504.110 and GN 00604.010. Go to step 3.
 If funds are not commingled, go to step 3.
3Ask about:
  • The frequency of the payee's visits with the recipient;

  • How he/she learns of the recipient's needs; and

  • Whether there is another interested individual who has frequent contact and more knowledge of the recipient's needs.

 NOTE: The responses to these questions may provide indicators of the payee's performance in meeting the recipient's needs.
 If the visits are infrequent and/or the payee has inadequate knowledge of the recipient's needs, consider whether lack of care and concern on the payee's part is an issue.