What responsibilities does a representative payee have to maintain SSI disability eligibility for a child?
Learn when a representative payee must set up a Dedicated Account & set aside funds and what’s needed to maintain SSI disability eligibility for a child.
General SSI Reporting Responsibilities
If you are a representative pay for either an adult or a child, it is your responsibility to report all the changes that are listed in our SSI reporting responsibilities article. Reporting all changes by the tenth of the month following the month of the change will allow you and the Social Security Administration to stay current on the child’s SSI disability eligibility and financial eligibility.
In addition, you must open and manage a Dedicated Account if the disabled child for whom you are representative payee receives a large past-due SSI payment and Social Security advises you that the money must be put in a Dedicated Account. The account must show the child as owner and that you manage the funds.
Past-due payments that require deposit in a Dedicated Account cannot be mingled with the child’s other resources and use of the funds is restricted to educational expenses, job skills training, and medical expenses. Social Security may also approve use of the funds for impairment-related needs such as in-home nursing care, special equipment, housing modifications, and therapy or rehabilitation. The money in the Dedicated Account cannot be used for basic monthly maintenance of food, shelter, or clothing.
The representative payee must keep bank records and receipts for at least two years to prove use of the funds and provide an explanation of how each expenditure relates to the child’s disability. If you stop being the representative payee, you must provide an accounting and turn the funds over to the new payee. If the disabled child turns eighteen and remains eligible for SSI as an adult, the restrictions on use of the dedicated funds remain in place. This is true even if the child-now-adult is his or her own payee.
Because the money in the Dedicated Account cannot be used for food or shelter, it does not count toward the individual resource limit of $2,000 or the couple resource limit of $3,000 for SSI disability eligibility.