If a successor payee is needed, develop for a new payee using guides in GN 00502.085 through GN 00502.181. Be alert to any indication that an adult beneficiary is now capable.
Continue payment to a qualified payee, pending the appointment of a successor payee.
If this is inappropriate, pay the beneficiary directly pending resolution of the issue
unless direct payment is prohibited per GN 00504.105A.2.
If a beneficiary with a payee files a request to receive direct payment or a new payee
application is received on behalf of someone who already has a payee and you are considering
making that payee change, contact the current payee for their views, unless it would
be inappropriate to do so. This will provide an opportunity to confirm allegations
made by the payee applicant and put the current payee on notice that a payee change
is being considered.
REMEMBER: Fully investigate any allegations or questions raised about the current payee's suitability
BEFORE DETERMINING THAT THE CURRENT PAYEE IS UNSUITABLE. DURING THE
INVESTIGATION DO NOT ASK THE PAYEE ABOUT
VIEWS CONCERNING A POSSIBLE PAYEE CHANGE.
Determine if the current payee has conserved funds, and ensure that the conserved
funds are returned to SSA in accordance with GN 00603.055. The contact may be made by phone or in person. If unable to reach the payee after
reasonable attempts, including a letter asking them to call or come in, adjudicate
the application based on evidence in file. Document the attempts to reach the current
payee on the Report of Contact Details screen (MS INTRANETERPS 016.002) in the eRPS.
If the current payee does not reside in your service area and you are sending a come-in
letter, advise the payee to go to their local office. Inform the resident office of
the reason for the contact with the current payee to help the resident office in obtaining
the payee's views on the proposed payee change
When talking with the current payee, discuss such issues as the following:
The payee's knowledge of the beneficiary's whereabouts and living arrangements;
Their reasons for wanting or not wanting to continue as payee; and
Any information pertinent to the beneficiary's capability.
Do not furnish the name of the successor payee under disclosure policy, unless it
is being released to a legal guardians or parents of a minor child (see GN 03316.120A.).
Advise the current payee of the expected date of the change when contacting them.
(This will let the payee know not to expect the check.) This contact must be made in addition to ensuring that the notice in NL 00703.821 is sent.