May 2, 2020

Rep Payees And Stimulus Payments

     When a person is receiving Social Security benefits through a representative payee their economic stimulus payment is being sent to the bank account of their representative payee because that’s the only bank account information Social Security has to give the Department of the Treasury. Social Security has now announced that it isn’t responsible for making sure the money is spent in the interests of the person it is intended for. Apparently, no agency is.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's unlikely a rep payee would use the beneficiary's Social' Security benefits on behalf of the beneficiary, then misuse the beneficiary's stimulus payment. If they misuse one, they would also misuse the other. SSA would usually find out about the misuse through the regular accounting procedures, or from the beneficiary complaining.

Anonymous said...

And Treasury seems to have.a problem distinguishing between representative payees and representatives. Some $1200 checks and direct deposits are showing up in lawyer and non lawyer representatives’ bank accounts and offices.

Anonymous said...

Well, the account I have as rep payee pretty clearly states that it is my son's account, but that I am the rep payee. No rep payee should be having money sent to their own personal account. "The checking or savings account title must show the beneficiary’s ownership of the funds and show you as the financial agent. Neither you as the payee, nor another third party, can have any ownership of the account"

So legally the money belongs to the recipient/beneficiary, not the payee. And that link so says so. And technically the link is right, SSA hasn't the authority to oversee how non-SSA funds are spent.

But it also says " However, if SSA receives an allegation that the EIP was not used on behalf of the beneficiary, SSA may decide to investigate for possible misuse of the beneficiary’s Social Security or SSI benefit payments. SSA may also determine the representative payee is no longer suitable and appoint a new representative payee."

Anonymous said...

7:43 is exactly right. NOSSCR is working on the problem directly with the SSA and through them Treasury. If any legal representative receives a stimulus check that belongs to a client, please provide the specific information to NOSSCR asap.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like they are passing the buck. Also sounds like maybe they want the rep payee to invest it or save it. Not sure. Presumably the SSA has vetted the rep payee to some level. So hopefully these payees do not just pocket it. That would be unconscionable.

Anonymous said...

As to payee, SSA's responses make sense. The payee's duties and responsibilities are limited to benefit payments. If a payee takes the stimulus money, I imagine that would just be potentially general theft, abuse of a vulnerable person, and any number of other crimes. It does remind me on the rare occasion SSA objects to a 406(b) fee of SSA's claim they are effectively a trustee to the recipient. Seems at odds with their current position, that their authority is limited, but that might be a result of whatever SSA's relationship with the payee is. If it is deferential to the payee, I could imagine it could be a problem for SSA to enlarge the administration's role once the payee is in place.

Curious if there are specific statutes addressing interception of tax refunds without legal cause for doing so (i.e. child support, student loans, restitution, garnishment, etc.) It's possible as that's effectively what is occurring.

Unknown said...

Where are SSI recipients with representive payees stimulus checks being sent