GN 00502.157 Processing Data in the Electronic Representative Payee System for Beneficiaries in Foster Care
CITATIONS: Social Security Act as amended P.L. 115-165, Section 205(j), 1631(a)
This section provides guidance for using the electronic Representative Payee System (eRPS) to process foster care work issues involving beneficiaries who have entered, exited, or changed foster care placement.
Section 103(a) of the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018, Public Law 115-165, requires the Social Security Administration (SSA) to enter into a monthly data exchange agreement with State agencies to receive reports with information about minor beneficiaries who have:
changed foster care placement location.
SSA will use the reports to assess capability when necessary, and to assign the appropriate representative payee (payee). SSA will also use the information to identify State responsibility for overpayments incurred while minor beneficiaries (under 18 years of age) were under the responsibility of the State (Public Law 115-165).
Important: Cases involving foster care placement information are among the most sensitive SSA encounters. Refer to GN
03340.000 prior to granting access to records under the Privacy Act. Refer to GN 03305.000 and GN
03314.120 for guidance concerning disclosure with or without consent.
Field Offices (FO) will receive foster care work issues in eRPS Workload Management, when we receive information through a State data exchange about a foster child. Management or other designated staff must assign the foster care work issues.
The types of foster care work issues are:
FCENTR - when a beneficiary enters foster care
FCCHNG - when a beneficiary foster care placement changes; or
FCEXIT - when a beneficiary exits foster care.
Important: Beneficiaries in the foster care work issues may be as old as 21 years of age. FCEXIT reports, for beneficiaries who are age 18 or over with no payee on SSA records, do not require a capability determination unless other factors are present that suggest capability is in question. See GN 00502.055 for when a capability determination is necessary based on a report of someone entering or changing placement in foster care.
Technicians must initiate all foster care work issues within 15 calendar days of receipt and complete payee development (when necessary) within 30 calendar days of receipt of the foster care work issue.
File from States
As each State enters the data exchange, they will submit an initial file that contains reports of all children currently in foster care.
When you receive an FCENTR report entitled "Initial File":
Compare the information on the foster care work issue with the information on the Master Beneficiary Record (MBR), Supplemental Security Income Record (SSR), and in eRPS;
If the information on the foster care work issue is blank or does not match the MBR, SSR, or eRPS, evaluate the report to determine if a capability determination or payee change is necessary;
Ensure that all MBR, SSR, and eRPS coding is correct, particularly for the relationship between the payee and the beneficiary;
Develop for a new payee following the steps in GN
00502.157C.2, if necessary;
If a payee change is not necessary, document the rationale in the foster care work issue, Issue Details box; and
Close the foster care work issue by clicking the button labeled "Clear Issue" and click "Save" when all development is complete.
Files from States
Each month, States will submit information through the data exchange of any child who entered, exited, or changed placement in foster care in the previous month.
When you receive a foster care work issue in eRPS:
Review the record to ensure the information in the foster care work issue matches SSA records, and correct coding as needed.
If a beneficiary between 15 and 17 years of age does not have an active payee in eRPS, evaluate and document capability per GN 00502.070. For adult beneficiaries entering foster care or changing foster care placement, evaluate and document capability per GN 00502.020. Children under the age of 15 must have a payee.
Follow the steps below to determine and assign the appropriate payee if the information from the foster care work issue indicates a payee assignment or change is necessary;
Identify prospective payees using information on the foster care work issue and described in GN 00502.100;
Determine the appropriate payee after the payee interview is complete, following instructions in GN 00502.117 through GN 00502.183;
Process the selection or non-selection of the applicant in eRPS per GN
Close the foster care work issue by clicking the button labeled "Clear Issue" and click "Save".
If you find a payee change is not necessary, document the rationale in the foster care work issue, Issue Details box, and close it by clicking the button labeled "Clear Issue".
3. Procedure for Correcting the Foster Care Relationship
It is very important that the foster care relationship answers are correct in eRPS. If you find the foster care relationship answers are incorrect after a payee selection, follow instructions in MS 07420.026 to update the foster care relationship questions.
GN 03340.000 – Access to SSA Data – Disclosure – Table of Contents
GN 03305.000 – Disclosure With Consent – Table of Contents
GN 00502.055 – Reevaluating a Beneficiary’s Ability to Manage Benefits
GN 00502.070 – Developing Capability - Children
GN 00502.020 – Determining Capability - Adult Beneficiaries
GN 00502.110 – Taking Applications in eRPS
GN 00502.113 – Interviewing the Payee Applicant
GN 00502.159 – Additional Considerations When Foster Care Agency is Involved
GN 00502.185 – Documenting Payee Selections/Non-Selections and Post-Entitlement Actions in eRPS
MS 07420.026 - Foster Care