Do not assume the parent is “not qualified” just because the child has been placed
in foster care. Consider the parent’s continued interest in the child and the probability
the child will return to the parent’s custody.
When a child is placed voluntarily under the supervision of a foster care agency,
it may be in the child’s best interest to appoint the parent as payee. Consider the
importance of maintaining the family ties between the parent and child if the parent
expects to regain custody of the child soon. Corroborate the parent’s concern with
the foster care agency. If you select the parent as payee, follow-up on the appointment
after three months as instructed in GN 00504.185 to ensure that the parent is using benefits properly.
When the foster parent of a child who has been placed in the custody of a foster care
agency files to be payee, check with the agency to determine if the agency intends
to file as payee.
For all payee applications, you must document your payee selection or non-selection
determination per GN 00502.185. This includes, when applicable, an explanation of why an applicant lower on the
preference list is the most suitable payee.