TN 31 (05-23)

GN 00506.220 When Fees for Service Cannot Be Collected

A. Policy

A fee cannot be collected from a beneficiary if any of the following apply:

  • No payment is due for that month, or

  • The organization was determined to have misused the beneficiary’s funds in the month, or

  • The organization is receiving compensation, including court/guardianship fees, for performing any representative payee services for the individual from another source (that equals or exceeds the payee’s allowable fee), or

  • The payee did not perform payee services for the month, or

  • The payee serves fewer than five beneficiaries, or

  • The monthly benefit amount does not cover the beneficiary's living expenses for that month.

NOTE: If a retroactive payment is received for a month in the past, (and no benefits were received in that month) the payee can collect the fee for that month as long as it meets all the requirements outlined in GN 00506.130 B.1.

EXCEPTION: A payee can collect a fee from a source other than the beneficiary, such as a third-party payer. Fees that the payee collects from sources other than the beneficiary do not require our authorization. If the fee collected from a source other than the beneficiary equals or exceeds the allowable fee amount in GN 00506.200, the payee may not collect any additional fee from the beneficiary for providing payee services. If a payee collects a fee from another source in addition to Social Security, the total fee collected cannot exceed the amount authorized by SSA. Allowing the payee to collect a portion of the fees from another source is favorable to the beneficiary since it will be less money taken from their benefits.

B. Examples

1. Payee dropped below the five-beneficiary minimum

A beneficiary received a retroactive check in January 2021. This check covered past due benefits for the months of April through December 2020. Catholic Charities has performed payee services since April 2020. In June 2020, Catholic Charities dropped below the five-beneficiary minimum. Therefore, it cannot collect any fees for the months of June through December 2020. It could collect a fee for April and May 2020.

2. Partial fees collected from another source

A fee-for-service payee collects $23 per month in fees from a state agency as payment for payee services in that month for each beneficiary it serves.

Due to the payment, the payee must reduce the fee it charges its beneficiaries by $23 for each beneficiary. For example, a beneficiary with a DAA Condition receives $400 per month. Since the payee can only collect the lesser of 10% of the combined Title II and Title XVI monthly payment or the amount listed in GN 00506.220, the maximum total fee that the payee may collect is $40 (i.e., 10% of $400 is $40). Accordingly, in this instance, the payee may collect a fee from the beneficiary of $17 ($40 minus $23 equals $17).

3. Beneficiary incarcerated

An SSI beneficiary was arrested and incarcerated on July 4, 2021. They spent 30 days in the county jail, and then on August 5 they was sentenced to six months and transferred to the state penitentiary. In addition to SSI, the beneficiary receives a monthly private pension. The payee did not report the incarceration until October 15, 2021. The payee continued to act as such, and paid the beneficiary’s bills. The payee thought they (the payee) could still charge a fee from the beneficiary, because the payee alleged they continued to write out monthly checks to the landlord and the utility companies to keep the beneficiary’s apartment while the beneficiary was in jail. In this instance, the payee must refund the fees collected for the months of incarceration since benefits were not due for these months.

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GN 00506.220 - When Fees for Service Cannot Be Collected - 05/01/2023
Batch run: 05/01/2023