TN 5 (04-11)
GN 00501.015 SSA Operating Components' Responsibilities for Representative Payee Actions
A. Role of the field office
The field office (FO) is responsible for developing, investigating, and deciding all representative payee matters.
1. Claims representative responsibility
FO claims representatives (CRs):
appoint a payee,
resolve protests of payee selections,
processing reconsiderations of protests of effectuated title II payee selection decisions and of title II negligence determinations
resolve title II reconsiderations of payee selections if the decision has not been effectuated,
resolve all title XVI/concurrent reconsiderations of payee selections, and
decide misuse and negligence determinations in all cases.
2. Service representative responsibility
FO service representatives (SRs) may process change of payee actions (including determining capability and initiating changes to or from direct payment) UNLESS:
There are multiple payee applications. (For more information see GN 00502.130B.2.)
There are discrepancies in the evidence of capability. (For more information see GN 00502.050.)
The beneficiary has a drug addiction, alcoholism condition, or both. (For DAA codes see SM 01601.790C.19. and SM 00510.200.)
The payee applicant is a non-relative who does not have custody of the recipient for title XVI and concurrent applications.
3. Field office notice responsibility
The FO has general responsibility for notices to beneficiaries, payees, and third parties. Specific responsibilities are:
a. Title II cases
The resident FO is responsible for sending advance notices, making systems changes to generate automated notices, and designating notice language for processing service center use when preparation of manual notices is required.
b. Title XVI cases
The resident FO is responsible for sending all manually prepared notices and providing data for the Supplemental Security Record (SSR ) to generate automated notices
B. Other field office accounting responsibilities
FO personnel, as determined by management, are also responsible for:
obtaining accounting forms,
resolving S8 and S08 computer alerts which result in 30-day suspensions while payee information is developed for direct payment when appropriate. (For more information on direct payment development, see GN 00504.105),
developing any periodic accounting reports, which cannot be approved by the data operations center or the processing service center, and
processing title XVI non-responder accounting cases (“150-day list” and “180-day list”. For more information on non-responder cases, see GN 00605.085).
C. The role of the processing service center
The processing service center (PSC) has responsibility for all payee actions that the FO cannot process. PSC responsibilities include:
processing any title II payee determinations, see GN 00502.190
sending title II manual notices designated by the FO,
resolving the PSC S8 suspension alerts,
resolving discrepancies and omissions on the periodic accounting reports, and
processing title II non-responder accounting cases (“third alerts”).
D. The role of the data operations center
The Wilkes-Barre Data Operations Center is responsible for:
screening and clearing controls, and
approving acceptable periodic accounting reports from the representative payee.
E. Procedure for determining the resident field office
Use the following instructions to determine the resident FO for representative payee purposes.
1. Determining the resident field office for initial claims
When the principal claimant (as defined in GN 00904.030A) files his or her own claim, the office servicing the principal claimant's address is the resident FO.
When a payee applicant has filed for the principal claimant, the office serving the payee applicant's address is the resident FO.
When the principal claimant has a claim pending in one FO, and an auxiliary claimant with a payee applicant has filed in another FO, follow the procedures in GN 00904.030 for determining jurisdiction. The responsibilities of each office are outlined in GN 00501.015F.3. in this section.
When there are two or more payee applicants, determine the office serving the applicant who is higher on the preference list (GN 00502.105) to be the resident FO unless the principal claimant has also filed. If the payee applicants are equal in preference, determine the office serving the applicant who filed earliest to be the resident FO.
2. Determining the resident field office — post-eligibility
Once a beneficiary is receiving payments, treat any subsequent payee action, including an application for another benefit, as a post-eligibility issue.
Determine the resident FO to be the office serving the payee's address.
For a beneficiary receiving direct payments, change the resident FO to the office serving the beneficiary's address.
When a new payee files an application, give the FO serving the payee applicant's address responsibility for developing the application and making the decision on it.
For information on the servicing FO for misuse allegations, see GN 00604.010B.
NOTE: Before making the payee change, the field office must contact the former payee (for instructions on making payee changes, see GN 00504.100B.1.).
3. Responsibility of field offices receiving a payee application
Follow these instructions in adjudicating the payee application.
The field office receiving the payee application must:
set all appropriate diaries,
ensure notices are sent,
input the decision,
ensure that all needed documentation is in the file (including a statement that contact with the current payee was made per GN 00504.100B.1.).
if the current payee is not on the representative payee system (RPS), contact the FO serving his or her address to obtain any available information about the payee situation to update the RPS record.
For multiple payees from different FOs, coordinate the development and payee selection over the telephone. Determine the FO that has ownership (per GN 00501.015E.1.) and transfer all other applications to the owner office. Use the RMOV screen in the RPS for transferring applications (For transferring information on using the RMOV screen, see MSOM RPS 008.006).