Identification Number:
EM-18023 REV
Intended Audience:All RCs/ARCs/ADs/FOs/TSCs/PSCs/OCO/OCO-CSTs
Originating Office:ORDP OISP
Title:Accounting Exemption for Certain Representative Payees
Type:EM - Emergency Messages
Program:Title II (RSI); Title XVI (SSI); Disability
Link To Reference:See References at the end of this EM.
 
Retention Date: November 23, 2018

REVISION 06/13/2018: D.2.a., first bullet, changed to read: "Fill in the identifying information on the SSA-6233 (i.e., payee name, address, beneficiary social security number, etc.) and the dedicated account information under Question 6 (see GN 00605.215 for more information on completing, mailing, and retaining the SSA-6233-BK)."

A. Purpose

This emergency message (EM) provides interim guidance on the exemption of certain representative payees (payees) from the accounting requirement.

B. Exempted Representative Payees from Accounting

Section 102 of the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018, Public Law 115-165, amends sections 205(j)(3) and 1631(a)(2)(c) of the Social Security Act (the Act) to exempt the following payees from the accounting requirement:


    • A natural or adoptive parent of a minor child entitled to title II benefits and/or eligible for title XVI payments who primarily resides in the same household as the beneficiary (Stepparents and grandparents are still required to complete accounting forms unless they qualify for the exemption under the legal guardian requirement immediately below);

    • A legal guardian of a minor child entitled to title II benefits and/or eligible for title XVI payments who primarily resides in the same household as the beneficiary;

    • A natural or adoptive parent of a disabled individual (as defined in section 223(d) of the Act ) entitled to title II benefits and/or eligible for title XVI payments who primarily resides in the same household as the beneficiary (Stepparents and grandparents of a disabled individual are still required to complete accounting forms); or

    • The spouse of an individual entitled to title II benefits and/or eligible for title XVI payments.

    Note: The spouse of the beneficiary does not need to primarily reside in the same household to qualify for the accounting exemption. For example, the beneficiary may reside in a nursing facility and the spouse serving as the payee may reside at a different address.


C. Definition of “primarily reside in the same household”
For purposes of the accounting exemption, SSA considers a payee who has physical custody to primarily reside in the same household as the beneficiary. Physical custody means that the beneficiary actually lives with the payee (see GN 00501.010B.9 for more information about custody). Legal custody does not necessarily indicate that that payee lives with the beneficiary. Therefore, a parent with legal custody may not be exempt from the annual accounting process unless the child primarily resides in the same household. You can review relationship and custody information on the Relationship Details screen in the electronic Representative Payee System (see MS INTRANETERPS 020.010 for more information about the Relationship Details screen).

D. Component guidance for the accounting exemption
    1. Field Office (FO) and Processing Center (PC) guidance for annual/final accounting actions and the request for conserved funds
      a. Annual accounting-exempted payees
        The agency will stop mailing annual accounting forms to exempted payees beginning June 22, 2018 for title II cases and July 6, 2018 for title XVI cases.

        Effective immediately, for exempted payees, regardless of when we requested the annual accounting report, do not pursue outstanding accounting form actions, including:
          • Non-responder accounting cases,
          • Exception accounting cases, and
          • All follow-up actions.

        Note: eRPA will systematically close out case information concerning the pending mailers, non-responder, and exceptions for exempted payees. The closed eRPA cases for exempted payees will be annotated with the remarks, “No Action—Exemption per Public Law 115-165” under the “Case History” tab.
      b. Final accounting and the request for conserved funds-exempted payees
        The agency will stop mailing automated final accounting forms to exempted payees beginning June 22, 2018 for title II cases and July 6, 2018 for title XVI cases.

        Effective Immediately:
          • Do not manually send final accounting reports to exempted payees.
          • Do not pursue outstanding non-responder/exception cases (including follow-up actions) for exempted payees, regardless of when we requested the final accounting report.

        Note: eRPA will systematically close out case information concerning the pending mailers, non-responder, and exceptions for exempted payees. The closed eRPA cases for exempted payees will be annotated with the remarks, “No Action—Exemption per Public Law 115-165” under the “Case History” tab.

        Exempted payees must still return conserved funds to SSA when the payee relationship terminates (see GN 00603.055 and GN 00603.130 for exceptions to the return of conserved funds). A notice will be sent to the former payee requesting the return of conserved funds (see NL 00720.080 for notice language).
    2. FO guidance for dedicated accounts and payee reporting responsibilities
      a. Dedicated accounts-exempted payees
        The agency must continue to monitor the dedicated accounts of exempted payees. When mailing the SSA-6233 (Representative Payee Report of Benefits and Dedicated Account):
          • Fill in the identifying information on the SSA-6233 (i.e., payee name, address, beneficiary social security number, etc.) and the dedicated account information under Question 6 (see GN 00605.215 for more information on completing, mailing, and retaining the SSA-6233-BK).
          • Instruct the exempted payee to complete only Questions 6-8 on the SSA-6233.
      b. Reporting responsibilities

        Exempted payees must continue to adhere to reporting responsibilities such as keeping detailed and accurate records of how they use benefits in order to provide an accurate report to SSA when requested (see GN 00502.114 for more information on payee reporting responsibilities and duties). Technicians should explain the reporting responsibilities and duties to all payees at the time of the payee application. When completing payee applications, technicians must accurately answer relationship and custodial questions to ensure the correct automation of the accounting exemption.

      c. Automated notice of accounting exemption

        Existing exempted payees and their beneficiaries will receive a one-time automated notice about the accounting exemption. This notice will outline the legislative changes and include a reminder of payee reporting responsibilities.

    3. TSC guidance

      If an exempted payee informs you that they did not receive an annual accounting report, inform the exempted payee that certain payees no longer have to complete annual accounting reports. The exempted payees will receive a notice to explain the change in the representative payee accounting responsibilities.


      For any other representative payee related questions, continue to follow instructions in TC 30001.000.

Direct all program-related and technical questions to your RO support staff or PC OA staff. RO support staff or PC OA staff may refer questions or problems to their Central Office contacts.

References
GN 00501.010 Definitions of Common Representative Payment Terms
GN 00502.114 Payee Responsibilities and Duties
GN 00603.055 Transfer of Conserved Funds
GN 00603.130 When Former Payee May Administer Conserved Funds
GN 00605.215 Complete, Mail, and Retain SSA-6233-BK
GN 00605.240 Representative Payee Report of Benefits and Dedicated Account
MS INTRANETERPS 020.010 Relationship Details
NL 00720.080 CFD Conserved Funds
TC 30001.000 Representative Payee - Table of Contents


EM-18023 REV - Accounting Exemption for Certain Representative Payees - 05/25/2018