TN 15 (01-24)

GN 00505.010 Representative Payee (RP) Procedures - Foreign Claims

A. Introduction to Representative Payees (RPs) in foreign claims

The different laws, customs, languages, and conditions abroad can often complicate the administration of the Social Security programs outside the United States. This section provides general information on determining the need for and selecting Representative Payees (RPs) for beneficiaries living outside the United States.

B. Policy for determining the need for and selecting a Representative Payee (RP) in foreign claims

The policies for determining the need for and selecting a RP for a beneficiary living outside the United States are the same as the domestic policies. For information about making, a capability determination see GN 00502.060. Except as described below, you must interview the RP applicant face-to-face unless an exception applies. For a list of foreign country and regional service information, see

For information on face-to face interviews see GN 00502.050A.1, GN 00502.107A.2, and GN 00502.110D. For information on interviewing the RP applicant and selecting a qualified payee see GN 00502.113 and GN 00502.132.

C. Procedure for Representative Payee (RP) development in foreign claims

It is not always possible to have on-the-spot assistance of personnel specially trained in Social Security matters in foreign countries. Therefore, we do most RP development by mail or through a field office (FO) or a Federal Benefits Unit (FBU). It is sometimes necessary to modify or expand the general procedures when civil unrest or long distances, expense or travel conditions make it unsafe or inadvisable to visit a FBU.

For example, the FBU or FO may develop for a RP by mail since it would cause an undue hardship for the RP applicant to attend a face-to-face interview, the FBU or FO personnel may conduct a telephone interview. It is necessary to obtain information on the suitability of the RP. Document the reason for the selection, especially when more than one potential RP is available or an unusual or questionable situation exists. For information on other contacts to evaluate payee suitability, see GN 00502.181. Document the file in the Electronic Representative Payee System (eRPS); however, if the RP applicant does not have a social security number (SSN) use the Form SSA-5002 (Report of Contact), with a brief explanation of the circumstances in these cases and actions taken.

D. Incapable beneficiary abroad with a United States address and a Representative Payee (RP) in the United States

In some cases, an incapable beneficiary living abroad can use a United States mailing address. A contact also in the United States can be their RP (e.g., a RP might be an adult child, other relative or friend). For instance, an incapable beneficiary lives in Spain. An adult child, who lives in the United States, is the RP. The beneficiary living in Spain can use a United States mailing address. We must have their actual home address in Spain at all times. For information on when a beneficiary abroad can use a United States address, see GN 02605.220.

E. References

GN 02605.220 U.S. Address Used by a Beneficiary Abroad

GN 00502.050 Developing Evidence of Capability

GN 00502.060 Making a Capability Determination

GN 00502.065 Documenting a Capability Determination

GN 00502.105 Payee Preference Lists

GN 00502.107 The Representative Payee Application

GN 00502.110 Taking Application in the eRPS

GN 00502.113 Interviewing the Payee Applicant

GN 00502.114 Payee Responsibilities and Duties

GN 00502.130 Factors to Consider in Evaluating Payee Applicants

GN 00502.132 Selecting a Qualified Representative Payee (RP)

GN 00502.181 Other Contacts to Evaluate Payee Applicant's Suitability

GN 00502.183 Making a Payee Appointment Determination

GN 00502.185 Documenting Payee Selections/Non-Selections and Post-Entitlement Actions in eRPS

GN 00904.026 Servicing Office – Representative Payee Involved Initial Claims

GN 00904.028 Servicing Office – Representative Payee Involved – Posteligibility

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GN 00505.010 - Representative Payee (RP) Procedures - Foreign Claims - 01/12/2024
Batch run: 01/12/2024