TN 29 (04-23)

GN 00602.130 Improper Use of Benefits


Improper use means an unwise expenditure of Social Security and/or Supplemental Security Income benefits. Improper use of benefits occurs when a representative payee allocates benefits for the beneficiary but not in the best interests of the beneficiary. Where the beneficiary has unmet current maintenance needs, saving benefits would serve very little purpose and would not be in the beneficiary's best interests. (See GN 00603.000 for conservation and investment policies.)

EXAMPLE: A payee uses the monthly benefit payment to purchase a television for the beneficiary rather than paying the rent on the beneficiary's apartment. This is an improper use of benefits because the payee failed to apply the benefit payment toward the beneficiary's current maintenance needs.


Discuss the beneficiary's situation and the applicable regulations with the payee. Suggest a better distribution of the benefits.

If the payee is unable or unwilling to change their practices, develop for a successor payee.

If the payee agrees to correct their practices, follow up twice at 3-month intervals to be sure proper use continues.

Do not request restitution.

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GN 00602.130 - Improper Use of Benefits - 04/26/2023
Batch run: 04/26/2023