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PART 416 - SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME FOR THE AGED, BLIND, AND DISABLED
Subpart A - Introduction, General Provisions and Definitions
Authority:

Secs. 702(a)(5) and 1601-1635 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 902(a)(5) and 1381-1383d); sec. 212, Pub. L. 93-66, 87 Stat. 155 (42 U.S.C. 1382 note); sec. 502(a), Pub. L. 94-241, 90 Stat. 268 (48 U.S.C. 1681 note).

Source:

39 FR 28625, Aug. 9, 1974, unless otherwise noted.

§ 416.101 Introduction.

The regulations in this part 416 (Regulations No. 16 of the Social Security Administration) relate to the provisions of title XVI of the Social Security Act as amended by section 301 of Pub. L. 92-603 enacted October 30, 1972, and as may thereafter be amended. Title XVI (Supplemental Security Income For The Aged, Blind, and Disabled) of the Social Security Act, as amended, established a national program, effective January 1, 1974, for the purpose of providing supplemental security income to individuals who have attained age 65 or are blind or disabled. The regulations in this part are divided into the following subparts according to subject content:

(a) This subpart A contains this introduction, a statement of the general purpose underlying the supplemental security income program, general provisions applicable to the program and its administration, and definitions and use of terms occurring throughout this part.

(b) Subpart B of this part covers in general the eligibility requirements which must be met for benefits under the supplemental security income program. It sets forth the requirements regarding residence, citizenship, age, disability, or blindness, and describes the conditions which bar eligibility and generally points up other conditions of eligibility taken up in greater detail elsewhere in the regulations (e.g., limitations on income and resources, receipt of support and maintenance, etc.).

(c) Subpart C of this part sets forth the rules with respect to the filing of applications, requests for withdrawal of applications, cancellation of withdrawal requests and other similar requests.

(d) Subpart D of this part sets forth the rules for computing the amount of benefits payable to an eligible individual and eligible spouse.

(e) Subpart E of this part covers provisions with respect to periodic payment of benefits, joint payments, payment of emergency cash advances, payment of benefits prior to a determination of disability, prohibition against transfer or assignment of benefits, adjustment and waiver of overpayments, and payment of underpayments.

(f) Subpart F of this part contains provisions with respect to the selection of representative payees to receive benefits on behalf of and for the use of recipients and to the duties and responsibilities of representative payees.

(g) Subpart G of this part sets forth rules with respect to the reporting of events and circumstances affecting eligibility or the amount of benefits payable.

(h) Subpart H of this part sets forth rules and guidelines for the submittal and evaluation of evidence of age where age is pertinent to establishing eligibility or the amount of benefits payable.

(i) Subpart I of this part sets forth the rules for establishing disability or blindness where the establishment of disability or blindness is pertinent to eligibility.

(j) Subpart J of this part sets forth the standards, requirements and procedures for States making determinations of disability for the Commissioner. It also sets out the Commissioner's responsibilities in carrying out the disability determination function.

(k) Subpart K of this part defines income, earned income, and unearned income and sets forth the statutory exclusions applicable to earned and unearned income for the purpose of establishing eligibility for and the amount of benefits payable.

(l) Subpart L of this part defines the term resources and sets forth the statutory exclusions applicable to resources for the purpose of determining eligibility.

(m) Subpart M of this part deals with events or circumstances requiring suspension or termination of benefits.

(n) Subpart N of this part contains provisions with respect to procedures for making determinations with respect to eligibility, amount of benefits, representative payment, etc., notices of determinations, rights of appeal and procedures applicable thereto, and other procedural due process provisions.

(o) Subpart O of this part contains provisions applicable to attorneys and other individuals who represent applicants in connection with claims for benefits.

(p) Subpart P of this part sets forth the residence and citizenship requirements that are pertinent to eligibility.

(q) Subpart Q of this part contains provisions with respect to the referral of individuals for vocational rehabilitation, treatment for alcoholism and drug addiction, and application for other benefits to which an applicant may be potentially entitled.

(r) Subpart R of this part sets forth the rules for determining marital and other family relationships where pertinent to the establishment of eligibility for or the amount of benefits payable.

(s) Subpart S of this part explains interim assistance and how benefits may be withheld to repay such assistance given by the State.

(t) Subpart T of this part contains provisions with respect to the supplementation of Federal supplemental security income payments by States, agreements for Federal administration of State supplementation programs, and payment of State supplementary payments.

(u) Subpart U of this part contains provisions with respect to agreements with States for Federal determination of Medicaid eligibility of applicants for supplemental security income.

(v) Subpart V of this part explains when payments are made to State vocational rehabilitation agencies for vocational rehabilitation services.

[39 FR 28625, Aug. 9, 1974, as amended at 51 FR 11718, Apr. 7, 1986; 62 FR 38454, July 18, 1997; 83 FR 62459, Dec. 4, 2018]

§ 416.105 Administration.

The Supplemental Security Income for the Aged, Blind, and Disabled program is administered by the Social Security Administration.

[51 FR 11718, Apr. 7, 1986, as amended at 62 FR 38454, July 18, 1997]

§ 416.110 Purpose of program.

The basic purpose underlying the supplemental security income program is to assure a minimum level of income for people who are age 65 or over, or who are blind or disabled and who do not have sufficient income and resources to maintain a standard of living at the established Federal minimum income level. The supplemental security income program replaces the financial assistance programs for the aged, blind, and disabled in the 50 States and the District of Columbia for which grants were made under the Social Security Act. Payments are financed from the general funds of the United States Treasury. Several basic principles underlie the program:

(a) Objective tests. The law provides that payments are to be made to aged, blind, and disabled people who have income and resources below specified amounts. This provides objective measurable standards for determining each person's benefits.

(b) Legal right to payments. A person's rights to supplemental security income payments - how much he gets and under what conditions - are clearly defined in the law. The area of administrative discretion is thus limited. If an applicant disagrees with the decision on his claim, he can obtain an administrative review of the decision and if still not satisfied, he may initiate court action.

(c) Protection of personal dignity. Under the Federal program, payments are made under conditions that are as protective of people's dignity as possible. No restrictions, implied or otherwise, are placed on how recipients spend the Federal payments.

(d) Nationwide uniformity of standards. The eligibility requirements and the Federal minimum income level are identical throughout the 50 States and the District of Columbia. This provides assurance of a minimum income base on which States may build supplementary payments.

(e) Incentives to work and opportunities for rehabilitation. Payment amounts are not reduced dollar-for-dollar for work income but some of an applicant's income is counted toward the eligibility limit. Thus, recipients are encouraged to work if they can. Blind and disabled recipients with vocational rehabilitation potential are referred to the appropriate State vocational rehabilitation agencies that offer rehabilitation services to enable them to enter the labor market.

(f) State supplementation and Medicaid determinations.

(1) Federal supplemental security income payments lessen the variations in levels of assistance and provide a basic level of assistance throughout the nation. States are required to provide mandatory minimum State supplementary payments beginning January 1, 1974, to aged, blind, or disabled recipients of assistance for the month of December 1973 under such State's plan approved under title I, X, XIV, or XVI of the Act in order for the State to be eligible to receive title XIX funds (see subpart T of this part). These payments must be in an amount sufficient to ensure that individuals who are converted to the new program will not have their income reduced below what it was under the State program for December 1973. In addition, each State may choose to provide more than the Federal supplemental security income and/or mandatory minimum State supplementary payment to whatever extent it finds appropriate in view of the needs and resources of its citizens or it may choose to provide no more than the mandatory minimum payment where applicable. States which provide State supplementary payments can enter into agreements for Federal administration of the mandatory and optional State supplementary payments with the Federal Government paying the administrative costs. A State which elects Federal administration of its supplementation program must apply the same eligibility criteria (other than those pertaining to income) applied to determine eligibility for the Federal portion of the supplemental security income payment, except as provided in sec. 1616(c) of the Act (see subpart T of this part). There is a limitation on the amount payable to the Commissioner by a State for the amount of the supplementary payments made on its behalf for any fiscal year pursuant to the State's agreement with the Secretary. Such limitation on the amount of reimbursement is related to the State's payment levels for January 1972 and its total expenditures for calendar year 1972 for aid and assistance under the appropriate State plan(s) (see subpart T of this part).

(2) States with Medicaid eligibility requirements for the aged, blind, and disabled that are identical (except as permitted by § 416.2111) to the supplemental security income eligibility requirements may elect to have the Social Security Administration determine Medicaid eligibility under the State's program for recipients of supplemental security income and recipients of a federally administered State supplementary payment. The State would pay half of Social Security Administration's incremental administrative costs arising from carrying out the agreement.

[39 FR 28625, Aug. 9, 1974, as amended at 53 FR 12941, Apr. 20, 1988; 62 FR 38454, July 18, 1997]

§ 416.120 General definitions and use of terms.

(a) Terms relating to acts and regulations. As used in this part:

(1) The Act means the Social Security Act as amended (42 U.S.C. Chap. 7).

(2) Wherever a title is referred to, it means such title of the Act.

(3) Vocational Rehabilitation Act means the act approved June 2, 1920 (41 Stat. 735), 29 U.S.C. 31-42, as amended, and as may be amended from time to time hereafter.

(b) Commissioner; Appeals Council; Administrative Law Judge; Administrative Appeals Judge defined -

(1) Commissioner means the Commissioner of Social Security.

(2) Appeals Council means the Appeals Council of the Office of Analytics, Review, and Oversight in the Social Security Administration or such member or members thereof as may be designated by the Chair of the Appeals Council.

(3) Administrative Law Judge means an Administrative Law Judge in the Office of Hearings Operations in the Social Security Administration.

(4) Administrative Appeals Judge means an Administrative Appeals Judge serving as a member of the Appeals Council.

(c) Miscellaneous. As used in this part unless otherwise indicated:

(1) Supplemental security income benefit means the amount to be paid to an eligible individual (or eligible individual and his eligible spouse) under title XVI of the Act.

(2) Income means the receipt by an individual of any property or service which he can apply, either directly or by sale or conversion, to meeting his basic needs (see subpart K of this part).

(3) Resources means cash or other liquid assets or any real or personal property that an individual owns and could convert to cash to be used for support and maintenance (see § 416.1201(a)).

(4) Attainment of age. An individual attains a given age on the first moment of the day preceding the anniversary of his birth corresponding to such age.

(5) Couple means an eligible individual and his eligible spouse.

(6) Institution (see § 416.201).

(7) Public institution (see § 416.201).

(8) Resident of a public institution (see § 416.201).

(9) State, unless otherwise indicated, means a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, or effective January 9, 1978, the Northern Mariana Islands.

(10) The term United States when used in a geographical sense means the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and effective January 9, 1978, the Northern Mariana Islands.

(11) Masculine gender includes the feminine, unless otherwise indicated.

(12) Section means a section of the regulations in part 416 of this chapter unless the context indicates otherwise.

(13) Eligible individual means an aged, blind, or disabled individual who meets all the requirements for eligibility for benefits under the supplemental security income program.

(14) Eligible spouse means an aged, blind, or disabled individual who is the husband or wife of another aged, blind, or disabled individual and who is living with that individual (see § 416.1801(c)).

(d) Periods of limitation ending on nonwork days. Pursuant to the Act, where any provision of title XVI, or any provision of another law of the United States (other than the Internal Revenue Code of 1954) relating to or changing the effect of title XVI, or any regulation of the Commissioner issued under title XVI, provides for a period within which an act is required to be done which affects eligibility for or the amount of any benefit or payment under title XVI or is necessary to establish or protect any rights under title XVI and such period ends on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal legal holiday or on any other day all or part of which is declared to be a nonworkday for Federal employees by statute or Executive Order, then such act shall be considered as done within such period if it is done on the first day thereafter which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday or any other day all or part of which is declared to be a nonworkday for Federal employees either by statute or Executive Order. For purposes of this paragraph, the day on which a period ends shall include the final day of any extended period where such extension is authorized by law or by the Commissioner pursuant to law. Such extension of any period of limitation does not apply to periods during which an application for benefits or payments may be accepted as such an application pursuant to subpart C of this part.

[39 FR 28625, Aug. 9, 1974, as amended at 43 FR 25091, June 9, 1978; 51 FR 11719, Apr. 7, 1986; 60 FR 16374, Mar. 30, 1995; 62 FR 38454, July 18, 1997; 85 FR 73159, Nov. 16, 2020]

§ 416.121 Receipt of aid or assistance for December 1973 under an approved State plan under title I, X, XIV, or XVI of the Social Security Act.

(a) Recipient of aid or assistance defined. As used in this part 416, the term individual who was a recipient of aid or assistance for December 1973 under a State plan approved under title I, X, XIV, or XVI of the Social Security Act means an individual who correctly received aid or assistance under such plan for December 1973 even though such aid or assistance may have been received subsequent to December 1973. It also includes an individual who filed an application prior to January 1974 and was otherwise eligible for aid or assistance for December 1973 under the provisions of such State plan but did not in fact receive such aid or assistance. It does not include an individual who received aid or assistance because of the provisions of 45 CFR 205.10(a) (pertaining to continuation of assistance until a fair hearing decision is rendered), as in effect in December 1973, and with respect to whom it is subsequently determined that such aid or assistance would not have been received without application of the provisions of such 45 CFR 205.10(a).

(b) Aid or assistance defined. As used in this part 416, the term aid or assistance means aid or assistance as defined in titles I, X, XIV, and XVI of the Social Security Act, as in effect in December 1973, and such aid or assistance is eligible for Federal financial participation in accordance with those titles and the provisions of 45 CFR chapter II as in effect in December 1973.

(c) Determinations of receipt of aid or assistance for December 1973. For the purpose of application of the provisions of this part 416, the determination as to whether an individual was a recipient of aid or assistance for December 1973 under a State plan approved under title I, X, XIV, or XVI of the Social Security Act will be made by the Social Security Administration. In making such determination, the Social Security Administration may take into consideration a prior determination by the appropriate State agency as to whether the individual was eligible for aid or assistance for December 1973 under such State plan. Such prior determination, however, shall not be considered as conclusive in determining whether an individual was a recipient of aid or assistance for December 1973 under a State plan approved under title I, X, XIV, or XVI of the Social Security Act for purposes of application of the provisions of this part 416.

(d) Special provision for disabled recipients. For purposes of § 416.907, the criteria and definitions enumerated in paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section are applicable in determining whether an individual was a recipient of aid or assistance (on the basis of disability) under a State plan approved under title XIV or XVI of the Act for a month prior to July 1973. It is not necessary that the aid or assistance for December 1973 and for a month prior to July 1973 have been paid under the State plan of the same State.

[39 FR 32024, Sept. 4, 1974; 39 FR 33207, Sept. 16, 1974, as amended at 51 FR 11719, Apr. 7, 1986]

Subpart B - Eligibility
Authority:

Secs. 702(a)(5), 1110(b), 1602, 1611, 1614, 1619(a), 1631, and 1634 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 902(a)(5), 1310(b), 1381a, 1382, 1382c, 1382h(a), 1383, and 1383c); secs. 211 and 212, Pub. L. 93-66, 87 Stat. 154 and 155 (42 U.S.C. 1382 note); sec. 502(a), Pub. L. 94-241, 90 Stat. 268 (48 U.S.C. 1681 note); sec. 2, Pub. L. 99-643, 100 Stat. 3574 (42 U.S.C. 1382h note).

Source:

47 FR 3103, Jan. 22, 1982, unless otherwise noted.

General
§ 416.200 Introduction.

You are eligible for SSI benefits if you meet all the basic requirements listed in § 416.202. However, the first month for which you may receive SSI benefits is the month after the month in which you meet these eligibility requirements. (See § 416.501.) You must give us any information we request and show us necessary documents or other evidence to prove that you meet these requirements. We determine your eligibility for each month on the basis of your countable income in that month. You continue to be eligible unless you lose your eligibility because you no longer meet the basic requirements or because of one of the reasons given in §§ 416.207 through 416.216.

[64 FR 31972, June 15, 1999, as amended at 68 FR 53508, Sept. 11, 2003]

§ 416.201 General definitions and terms used in this subpart.

Any 9-month period means any period of 9 full calendar months ending with any full calendar month throughout which (as defined in § 416.211) an individual is residing in a public emergency shelter for the homeless (as defined in this section) and including the immediately preceding 8 consecutive full calendar months. January 1988 is the earliest possible month in any 9-month period.

Educational or vocational training means a recognized program for the acquisition of knowledge or skills to prepare an individual for gainful employment. For purposes of these regulations, educational or vocational training does not include programs limited to the acquisition of basic life skills including but not limited to eating and dressing.

Emergency shelter means a shelter for individuals whose homelessness poses a threat to their lives or health.

Homeless individual is one who is not in the custody of any public institution and has no currently usable place to live. By custody we mean the care and control of an individual in a mandatory residency where the individual's freedom to come and go as he or she chooses is restricted. An individual in a public institution awaiting discharge and placement in the community is in the custody of that institution until discharged and is not homeless for purposes of this provision.

Institution means an establishment that makes available some treatment or services in addition to food and shelter to four or more persons who are not related to the proprietor.

Medical treatment facility means an institution or that part of an institution that is licensed or otherwise approved by a Federal, State, or local government to provide inpatient medical care and services.

Public emergency shelter for the homeless means a public institution or that part of a public institution used as an emergency shelter by the Federal government, a State, or a political subdivision of a State, primarily for making available on a temporary basis a place to sleep, food, and some services or treatment to homeless individuals. A medical treatment facility (as defined in § 416.201) or any holding facility, detoxification center, foster care facility, or the like that has custody of the individual is not a public emergency shelter for the homeless. Similarly, transitional living arrangements such as a halfway house that are part of an insitution's plan to facilitate the individual's adjustment to community living are not public emergency shelters for the homeless.

Public institution means an institution that is operated by or controlled by the Federal government, a State, or a political subdivision of a State such as a city or county. The term public institution does not include a publicly operated community residence which serves 16 or fewer residents.

Resident of a public institution means a person who can receive substantially all of his or her food and shelter while living in a public institution. The person need not be receiving treatment and services available in the institution and is a resident regardless of whether the resident or anyone else pays for all food, shelter, and other services in the institution. A person is not a resident of a public institution if he or she is living in a public educational institution for the primary purpose of receiving educational or vocational training as defined in this section. A resident of a public institution means the same thing as an inmate of a public institution as used in section 1611(e)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act. (See § 416.211(b), (c), and (d) of this subpart for exceptions to the general limitation on the eligibility for Supplemental Security Income benefits of individuals who are residents of a public institution.)

SSI means supplemental security income.

State assistance means payments made by a State to an aged, blind, or disabled person under a State plan approved under title I, X, XIV, or XVI (AABD) of the Social Security Act which was in effect before the SSI Program.

We or Us means the Social Security Administration.

You or Your means the person who applies for or receives SSI benefits or the person for whom an application is filed.

[47 FR 3103, Jan. 22, 1982, as amended at 49 FR 19639, May 19, 1984; 50 FR 48570, Nov. 26, 1985; 50 FR 51517, Dec. 18, 1985; 54 FR 19164, May 4, 1989; 72 FR 50874, Sept. 5, 2007]

§ 416.202 Who may get SSI benefits.

You are eligible for SSI benefits if you meet all of the following requirements:

(a) You are -

(1) Aged 65 or older (subpart H);

(2) Blind (subpart I); or

(3) Disabled (subpart I).

(b) You are a resident of the United States (§ 416.1603), and -

(1) A citizen or a national of the United States (§ 416.1610);

(2) An alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States (§ 416.1615);

(3) An alien permanently residing in the United States under color of law (§ 416.1618); or

(4) A child of armed forces personnel living overseas as described in § 416.216.

(c) You do not have more income than is permitted (subparts K and D).

(d) You do not have more resources than are permitted (subpart L).

(e) You are disabled, drug addiction or alcoholism is a contributing factor material to the determination of disability (see § 416.935), and you have not previously received a total of 36 months of Social Security benefit payments when appropriate treatment was available or 36 months of SSI benefits on the basis of disability where drug addiction or alcoholism was a contributing factor material to the determination of disability.

(f) You are not -

(1) Fleeing to avoid prosecution for a crime, or an attempt to commit a crime, which is a felony under the laws of the place from which you flee (or which, in the case of the State of New Jersey, is a high misdemeanor under the laws of that State);

(2) Fleeing to avoid custody or confinement after conviction for a crime, or an attempt to commit a crime, which is a felony under the laws of the place from which you flee (or which, in the case of the State of New Jersey, is a high misdemeanor under the laws of that State); or

(3) Violating a condition of probation or parole imposed under Federal or State law.

(g) You file an application for SSI benefits (subpart C).

[47 FR 3103, Jan. 22, 1982, as amended at 58 FR 4897, Jan. 19, 1993; 60 FR 8149, Feb. 10, 1995; 61 FR 10277, Mar. 13, 1996; 65 FR 40495, June 30, 2000]

§ 416.203 Initial determinations of SSI eligibility.

(a) What happens when you apply for SSI benefits. When you apply for SSI benefits we will ask you for documents and any other information we need to make sure you meet all the requirements. We will ask for information about your income and resources and about other eligibility requirements and you must answer completely. We will help you get any documents you need but do not have.

(b) How we determine your eligibility for SSI benefits. We determine that you are eligible for SSI benefits for a given month if you meet the requirements in § 416.202 in that month. However, you cannot become eligible for payment of SSI benefits until the month after the month in which you first become eligible for SSI benefits (see § 416.501). In addition, we usually determine the amount of your SSI benefits for a month based on your income in an earlier month (see § 416.420). Thus, it is possible for you to meet the eligibility requirements in a given month but receive no benefit payment for that month.

[47 FR 3103, Jan. 22, 1982, as amended at 50 FR 48570, Nov. 26, 1985; 64 FR 31972, June 15, 1999]

§ 416.204 Redeterminations of SSI eligibility.

(a) Redeterminations defined. A redetermination is a review of your eligibility to make sure that you are still eligible and that you are receiving the right amount of SSI benefits. This review deals with the requirements for eligibility other than whether you are still disabled or blind. Continuation of disability or blindness reviews are discussed in §§ 416.989 and 416.990.

(b) When we make redeterminations.

(1) We redetermine your eligibility on a scheduled basis at periodic intervals. The length of time between scheduled redeterminations varies depending on the likelihood that your situation may change in a way that affects your benefits.

(2) We may also redetermine your eligibility when you tell us (or we otherwise learn) of a change in your situation which affects your eligibility or the amount of your benefit.

(c) The period for which a redetermination applies:

(1) The first redetermination applies to -

(i) The month in which we make the redetermination;

(ii) All months beginning with the first day of the latest of the following:

(A) The month of first eligibility or re-eligibility; or

(B) The month of application; or

(C) The month of deferred or updated development; and

(iii) Future months until the second redetermination.

(2) All other redeterminations apply to -

(i) The month in which we make the redetermination;

(ii) All months beginning with the first day of the month the last redetermination was initiated; and

(iii) Future months until the next redetermination.

(3) If we made two redeterminations which cover the same month, the later redetermination is the one we apply to that month.

[47 FR 3103, Jan. 22, 1982, as amended at 50 FR 48570, Nov. 26, 1985; 58 FR 64893, Dec. 10, 1993]

Reasons Why You May Not Get SSI Benefits for Which You Are Otherwise Eligible
§ 416.207 You do not give us permission to contact financial institutions.

(a) To be eligible for SSI payments you must give us permission to contact any financial institution and request any financial records that financial institution may have about you. You must give us this permission when you apply for SSI payments or when we ask for it at a later time. You must also provide us with permission from anyone whose income and resources we consider as being available to you, i.e., deemors (see §§ 416.1160, 416.1202, 416.1203, and 416.1204).

(b) Financial institution means any:

(1) Bank,

(2) Savings bank,

(3) Credit card issuer,

(4) Industrial loan company,

(5) Trust company,

(6) Savings association,

(7) Building and loan,

(8) Homestead association,

(9) Credit union,

(10) Consumer finance institution, or

(11) Any other financial institution as defined in section 1101(1) of the Right to Financial Privacy Act.

(c) Financial record means an original of, a copy of, or information known to have been derived from any record held by the financial institution pertaining to your relationship with the financial institution.

(d) We may ask any financial institution for information on any financial account concerning you. We may also ask for information on any financial accounts for anyone whose income and resources we consider as being available to you (see §§ 416.1160, 416.1202, 416.1203, and 416.1204).

(e) We ask financial institutions for this information when we think that it is necessary to determine your SSI eligibility or payment amount.

(f) Your permission to contact financial institutions, and the permission of anyone whose income and resources we consider as being available to you, i.e., a deemor (see §§ 416.1160, 416.1202, 416.1203, and 416.1204), remains in effect until a terminating event occurs. The following terminating events only apply prospectively and do not invalidate the permission for past periods.

(1) You cancel your permission in writing and provide the writing to us.

(2) The deemor cancels their permission in writing and provides the writing to us.

(3) The basis on which we consider a deemor's income and resources available to you ends, e.g. when spouses separate or divorce or a child attains age 18.

(4) Your application for SSI is denied, and the denial is final. A denial is final when made, unless you appeal the denial timely as described in §§ 416.1400 through 416.1499.

(5) You are no longer eligible for SSI as described in §§ 416.1331 through 416.1335.

(g) If you don't give us permission to contact any financial institution and request any financial records about you when we think it is necessary to determine your SSI eligibility or payment amount, or if you cancel the permission, you cannot be eligible for SSI payments. Also, except as noted in paragraph (h), if anyone whose income and resources we consider as being available to you (see §§ 416.1160, 416.1202, 416.1203, and 416.1204) doesn't give us permission to contact any financial institution and request any financial records about that person when we think it is necessary to determine your eligibility or payment amount, or if that person cancels the permission, you cannot be eligible for SSI payments. This means that if you are applying for SSI payments, you cannot receive them. If you are receiving SSI payments, we will stop your payments.

(h) You may be eligible for SSI payments if there is good cause for your being unable to obtain permission for us to contact any financial institution and request any financial records about someone whose income and resources we consider as being available to you (see §§ 416.1160, 416.1202, 416.1203, and 416.1204).

(1) Good cause exists if permission cannot be obtained from the individual and there is evidence that the individual is harassing you, abusing you, or endangering your life.

(2) Good cause may exist if an individual other than one listed in paragraph (h)(3) of this section refuses to provide permission and: you acted in good faith to obtain permission from the individual but were unable to do so through no fault of your own, or you cooperated with us in our efforts to obtain permission.

(3) Good cause does not apply if the individual is your representative payee and your legal guardian, if you are a minor child and the individual is your representative payee and your custodial parent, or if you are an alien and the individual is your sponsor or the sponsor's living-with spouse.

[68 FR 53508, Sept. 11, 2003]

§ 416.210 You do not apply for other benefits.

(a) General rule. You are not eligible for SSI benefits if you do not apply for all other benefits for which you may be eligible.

(b) What “other benefits” includes. “Other benefits” includes any payments for which you can apply that are available to you on an ongoing or one-time basis of a type that includes annuities, pensions, retirement benefits, or disability benefits. For example, “other benefits” includes veterans' compensation and pensions, workers' compensation payments, Social Security insurance benefits and unemployment insurance benefits. “Other benefits” for which you are required to apply do not include payments that you may be eligible to receive from a fund established by a State to aid victims of crime. (See § 416.1124(c)(17).)

(c) Our notice to you. We will give you a dated, written notice that will tell you about any other benefits that we think you are likely to be eligible for. In addition, the notice will explain that your eligibility for SSI benefits will be affected if you do not apply for those other benefits.

(d) What you must do to apply for other benefits. In order to apply for other benefits, you must file any required applications and do whatever else is needed so that your eligibility for the other benefits can be determined. For example, if any documents (such as a copy of a birth certificate) are required in addition to the application, you must submit them.

(e) What happens if you do not apply for the other benefits.

(1) If you do not apply for the other benefits within 30 days from the day that you receive our written notice, you are not eligible for SSI benefits. This means that if you are applying for SSI benefits, you cannot receive them. If you are receiving SSI benefits, your SSI benefits will stop. In addition, you will have to repay us for any SSI benefits that you received beginning with the month that you received our written notice. We assume (unless you prove otherwise) that you received our written notice 5 days after the date shown on the notice. We will also find that you are not eligible for SSI benefits if you file the required application for other benefits but do not take other necessary steps to obtain them.

(2) We will not find you ineligible for SSI benefits if you have a good reason for not applying for the other benefits within the 30-day period or taking other necessary steps to obtain them. In determining whether a good reason exists, we will take into account any physical, mental, educational, or linguistic limitations (including any lack of facility with the English language) which may have caused you to fail to apply for other benefits. You may have a good reason if, for example -

(i) You are incapacitated (because of illness you were not able to apply); or

(ii) It would be useless for you to apply (you once applied for the benefits and the reasons why you were turned down have not changed).

[47 FR 3103, Jan. 22, 1982, as amended at 50 FR 5573, Feb. 11, 1985; 50 FR 14211, Apr. 11, 1985; 59 FR 1635, Jan. 12, 1994; 61 FR 1712, Jan. 23, 1996]

§ 416.211 You are a resident of a public institution.

(a) General rule.

(1) Subject to the exceptions described in paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section and § 416.212, you are not eligible for SSI benefits for any month throughout which you are a resident of a public institution as defined in § 416.201. In addition, if you are a resident of a public institution when you apply for SSI benefits and meet all other eligibility requirements, you cannot be eligible for payment of benefits until the first day of the month following the day of your release from the institution.

(2) By throughout a month we mean that you reside in an institution as of the beginning of a month and stay the entire month. If you have been a resident of a public institution, you remain a resident if you are transferred from one public institution to another or if you are temporarily absent for a period of not more than 14 consecutive days. A person also is a resident of an institution throughout a month if he or she is born in the institution during the month and resides in the institution the rest of the month or resides in the institution as of the beginning of a month and dies in the institution during the month.

(b) Exception - SSI benefits payable at a reduced rate. You may be eligible for SSI benefits at a reduced rate described in § 416.414, if -

(1)

(i) You reside throughout a month in a public institution that is a medical treatment facility where Medicaid (title XIX of the Social Security Act) pays a substantial part (more than 50 percent) of the cost of your care; you are a child under the age of 18 residing throughout a month in a public institution that is a medical treatment facility where a substantial part (more than 50 percent) of the cost of your care is paid under a health insurance policy issued by a private provider of such insurance; or, you are a child under the age of 18 residing throughout a month in a public institution that is a medical treatment facility where a substantial part (more than 50 percent) of the cost of your care is paid by a combination of Medicaid payments and payments made under a health insurance policy issued by a private provider of such insurance; or

(ii) You reside for part of a month in a public institution and the rest of the month in a public institution or private medical treatment facility where Medicaid pays a substantial part (more than 50 percent) of the cost of your care; you are a child under the age of 18 residing for part of a month in a public institution and the rest of the month in a public institution or private medical treatment facility where a substantial part (more than 50 percent) of the cost of your care is paid under a health insurance policy issued by a private provider of such insurance; or you are a child under the age of 18 residing for part of a month in a public institution and the rest of the month in a public institution or private medical treatment facility where a substantial part (more than 50 percent) of the cost of your care is paid by a combination of Medicaid payments and payments made under a health insurance policy issued by a private provider; and

(2) You are ineligible in that month for a benefit described in § 416.212 that is payable to a person temporarily confined in a medical treatment facility.

(c) Exception for publicly operated community residences which serve no more than 16 residents -

(1) General rule. If you are a resident of a publicly operated community residence which serves no more than 16 residents, you may be eligible for SSI benefits.

(2) Services that a facility must provide in order to be a community residence. To be a community residence, a facility must provide food and shelter. In addition, it must make available some other services. For example, the other services could be -

(i) Social services;

(ii) Help with personal living activities;

(iii) Training in socialization and life skills; or

(iv) Providing occasional or incidental medical or remedial care.

(3) Serving no more than 16 residents. A community residence serves no more than 16 residents if -

(i) It is designed and planned to serve no more than 16 residents, or the design and plan were changed to serve no more than 16 residents; and

(ii) It is in fact serving 16 or fewer residents.

(4) Publicly operated. A community residence is publicly operated if it is operated or controlled by the Federal government, a State, or a political subdivision of a State such as a city or county.

(5) Facilities which are not a publicly operated community residence. If you live in any of the following facilities, you are not a resident of a publicly operated community residence:

(i) A residential facility which is on the grounds of or next to a large institution or multipurpose complex;

(ii) An educational or vocational training institution whose main function is to provide an approved, accredited, or recognized program to some or all of those who live there;

(iii) A jail or other facility where the personal freedom of anyone who lives there is restricted because that person is a prisoner, is being held under court order, or is being held until charges against that person are disposed of; or

(iv) A medical treatment facility (defined in § 416.201).

(d) Exception for residents of public emergency shelters for the homeless. For months after December 1987, if you are a resident of a public emergency shelter for the homeless (defined in § 416.201) you may be eligible for SSI benefits for any 6 months throughout which you reside in a shelter in any 9-month period (defined in § 416.201). The 6 months do not need to be consecutive and we will not count as part of the 6 months any prior months throughout which you lived in the shelter but did not receive SSI benefits. We will also not count any months throughout which you lived in the shelter and received SSI benefits prior to January 1988.

Example:

You are receiving SSI benefits when you lose your home and enter a public emergency shelter for the homeless on March 10, 1988. You remain a resident of a shelter until October 10, 1988. Since you were not in the shelter throughout the month of March, you are eligible to receive your benefit for March without having this month count towards the 6-month period. The last full month throughout which you reside in the shelter is September 1988. Therefore, if you meet all eligibility requirements, you will also be paid benefits for April through September (6 months during the 9-month period September 1988 back through January 1988). If you are otherwise eligible, you will receive your SSI benefit for October when you left the shelter, since you were not a resident of the shelter throughout that month.

[47 FR 3103, Jan. 22, 1982, as amended at 50 FR 51518, Dec. 18, 1985; 51 FR 13492, Apr. 21, 1986; 51 FR 17332, May 12, 1986; 51 FR 34464, Sept. 29, 1986; 54 FR 19164, May 4, 1989; 61 FR 10277, Mar. 13, 1996; 62 FR 1055, Jan. 8, 1997; 64 FR 31972, June 15, 1999; 72 FR 50874, Sept. 5, 2007]

§ 416.212 Continuation of full benefits in certain cases of medical confinement.

(a) Benefits payable under section 1611(e)(1)(E) of the Social Security Act. Subject to eligibility and regular computation rules (see subparts B and D of this part), you are eligible for the benefits payable under section 1611(e)(1)(E) of the Social Security Act for up to 2 full months of medical confinement during which your benefits would otherwise be suspended because of residence in a public institution or reduced because of residence in a public or private institution where Medicaid pays a substantial part (more than 50 percent) of the cost of your care or, if you are a child under age 18, reduced because of residence in a public or private institution which receives payments under a health insurance policy issued by a private provider, or a combination of Medicaid and a health insurance policy issued by a private provider, pay a substantial part (more than 50 percent) of the cost of your care if -

(1) You were eligible under either section 1619(a) or section 1619(b) of the Social Security Act in the month before the first full month of residence in an institution;

(2) The institution agrees that no portion of these benefits will be paid to or retained by the institution excepting nominal sums for reimbursement of the institution for any outlay for a recipient's personal needs (e.g., personal hygiene items, snacks, candy); and

(3) The month of your institutionalization is one of the first 2 full months of a continuous period of confinement.

(b) Benefits payable under section 1611(e)(1)(G) of the Social Security Act.

(1) Subject to eligibility and regular computation rules (see subparts B and D of this part), you are eligible for the benefits payable under section 1611(e)(1)(G) of the Social Security Act for up to 3 full months of medical confinement during which your benefits would otherwise be suspended because of residence in a public institution or reduced because of residence in a public or private institution where Medicaid pays a substantial part (more than 50 percent) of the cost of your care or, if you are a child under age 18, reduced because of residence in a public or private institution which receives payments under a health insurance policy issued by a private provider, or a combination of Medicaid and a health insurance policy issued by a private provider, pay a substantial part (more than 50 percent) of the cost of your care if -

(i) You were eligible for SSI cash benefits and/or federally administered State supplementary payments for the month immediately prior to the first full month you were a resident in such institution;

(ii) The month of your institutionalization is one of the first 3 full months of a continuous period of confinement;

(iii) A physician certifies, in writing, that you are not likely to be confined for longer than 90 full consecutive days following the day you entered the institution, and the certification is submitted to SSA no later than the day of discharge or the 90th full day of confinement, whichever is earlier; and

(iv) You need to pay expenses to maintain the home or living arrangement to which you intend to return after institutionalization and evidence regarding your need to pay these expenses is submitted to SSA no later than the day of discharge or the 90th full day of confinement, whichever is earlier.

(2) We will determine the date of submission of the evidence required in paragraphs (b)(1) (iii) and (iv) of this section to be the date we receive it or, if mailed, the date of the postmark.

(c) Prohibition against using benefits for current maintenance. If the recipient is a resident in an institution, the recipient or his or her representative payee will not be permitted to pay the institution any portion of benefits payable under section 1611(e)(1)(G) excepting nominal sums for reimbursement of the institution for any outlay for the recipient's personal needs (e.g., personal hygiene items, snacks, candy). If the institution is the representative payee, it will not be permitted to retain any portion of these benefits for the cost of the recipient's current maintenance excepting nominal sums for reimbursement for outlays for the recipient's personal needs.

[61 FR 10277, Mar. 13, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 1055, Jan. 8, 1997; 72 FR 50874, Sept. 5, 2007]

§ 416.214 You are disabled and drug addiction or alcoholism is a contributing factor material to the determination of disability.

(a) If you do not comply with treatment requirements. If you receive benefits because you are disabled and drug addiction or alcoholism is a contributing factor material to the determination of disability (see § 416.935), you must avail yourself of any appropriate treatment for your drug addiction or alcoholism at an approved institution or facility when this treatment is available and make progress in your treatment. You are not eligible for SSI benefits beginning with the month after the month you are notified in writing that we determined that you have failed to comply with the treatment requirements. If your benefits are suspended because you failed to comply with treatment requirements, you will not be eligible to receive benefits until you have demonstrated compliance with treatment for a period of time, as specified in § 416.1326. The rules regarding treatment for drug addiction and alcoholism are in subpart I of this part.

(b) If you previously received 36 months of SSI or Social Security benefits. You are not eligible for SSI benefits by reason of disability on the basis of drug addiction or alcoholism as described in § 416.935 if -

(1) You previously received a total of 36 months of SSI benefits on the basis of disability and drug addiction or alcoholism was a contributing factor material to the determination of disability for months beginning March 1995, as described in § 416.935. Not included in these 36 months are months before March 1995 and months for which your benefits were suspended for any reason. The 36-month limit is no longer effective for months beginning after September 2004; or

(2) You previously received a total of 36 months of Social Security benefits counted in accordance with the provisions of §§ 404.316, 404.337, and 404.352 by reason of disability on the basis of drug addiction or alcoholism as described in § 404.1535.

[60 FR 8149, Feb. 10, 1995. Redesignated at 61 FR 10277, Mar. 13, 1996]

§ 416.215 You leave the United States.

You lose your eligibility for SSI benefits for any month during all of which you are outside of the United States. If you are outside of the United States for 30 days or more in a row, you are not considered to be back in the United States until you are back for 30 days in a row. You may again be eligible for SSI benefits in the month in which the 30 days end if you continue to meet all other eligibility requirements.

By United States, we mean the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

[47 FR 3103, Jan. 22, 1982. Redesignated at 61 FR 10277, Mar. 13, 1996]

§ 416.216 You are a child of armed forces personnel living overseas.

(a) General rule. For purposes of this part, overseas means any location outside the United States as defined in § 416.215; i.e., the 50 States, the District of Columbia and the Northern Mariana Islands. You may be eligible for SSI benefits if you live overseas and if -

(1) You are a child as described in § 416.1856;

(2) You are a citizen of the United States; and

(3) You are living with a parent as described in § 416.1881 who is a member of the armed forces of the United States assigned to permanent duty ashore overseas.

(b) Living with. You are considered to be living with your parent who is a member of the armed forces if -

(1) You physically live with the parent who is a member of the armed forces overseas; or

(2) You are not living in the same household as the military parent but your presence overseas is due to his or her permanent duty assignment.

[58 FR 4897, Jan. 19, 1993; 58 FR 9597, Feb. 22, 1993, as amended at 59 FR 41400, Aug. 12, 1994. Redesignated at 61 FR 10277, Mar. 13, 1996; 70 FR 61366, Oct. 24, 2005]

Eligibility for Increased Benefits Because of Essential Persons
§ 416.220 General.

If you are a qualified individual and have an essential person you may be eligible for increased benefits. You may be a qualified individual and have an essential person only if you received benefits under a State assistance plan approved under title I, X, XIV, or XVI (AABD) of the Act for December 1973. Definitions and rules that apply to qualified individuals and essential persons are discussed in §§ 416.221 through 416.223.

§ 416.221 Who is a qualified individual.

You are a qualified individual if -

(a) You received aid or assistance for the month of December 1973 under a State plan approved under title I, X, XIV, or XVI (AABD) of the Act;

(b) The State took into account the needs of another person in deciding your need for the State assistance for December 1973;

(c) That other person was living in your home in December 1973; and

(d) That other person was not eligible for State assistance for December 1973.

§ 416.222 Who is an essential person.

(a) General rule. A person is an essential person if -

(1) That person has continuously lived in the home of the same qualified individual since December 1973;

(2) That person was not eligible for State assistance for December 1973;

(3) That person was never eligible for SSI benefits in his or her own right or as an eligible spouse; and

(4) There are State records which show that under a State plan in effect for June 1973, the State took that person's needs into account in determining the qualified individual's need for State assistance for December 1973.

Any person who meets these requirements is an essential person. This means that the qualified individual can have more than one essential person.

(b) Absence of an essential person from the home of a qualified individual. An essential person may be temporarily absent from the house of a qualified individual and still be an essential person. For example, the essential person could be hospitalized. We consider an absence to temporary if -

(1) The essential person intends to return;

(2) The facts support this intention;

(3) It is likely that he or she will return; and

(4) The absence is not longer than 90 days.

(c) Absence of a qualified individual from his or her home. You may be temporarily absent from your home and still have an essential person. For example, you could be hospitalized. We consider an absence to be temporary if -

(1) You intend to return;

(2) The facts support your intention;

(3) It is likely that you will return; and

(4) Your absence does not exceed six months.

(d) Essential person becomes eligible for SSI benefits. If an essential person becomes eligible for SSI benefits, he or she will no longer be an essential person beginning with the month that he or she becomes eligible for the SSI benefits.

§ 416.223 What happens if you are a qualified individual.

(a) Increased SSI benefits. We may increase the amount of your SSI benefits if -

(1) You are a qualified individual; and

(2) You have one or more essential persons in your home.

In subpart D, we explain how these increased benefits are calculated.

(b) Income and resource limits. If you are a qualified individual, we consider the income and resources of an essential person in your home to be yours. You are eligible for increased SSI benefits if -

(1) Your resources which are counted do not exceed the limit for SSI eligibility purposes (see subpart L); and

(2) Your income which is counted for SSI eligibility purposes (see subpart K) does not exceed the sum of -

(i) The SSI Federal benefit rate (see subpart D); and

(ii) The proper number of essential person increments (for the value of an essential person increment see subpart D). One essential person increment is added to the SSI Federal benefit rate for each essential person in your home.

(c) Excluding the income and resources of an essential person.

(1) While an essential person increment increases your SSI Federal benefit rate, that person's income which we consider to be yours may actually result in a lower monthly payment to you. We will discuss this with you and explain how an essential person affects your benefit. If you choose to do so, you may ask us in writing to determine your eligibility without your essential person or, if you have more than one essential person, without one or more of your essential persons. We will then figure the amount of your SSI benefits without counting as your own income and resources of the essential persons that you specify and we will end the essential person increment for those essential persons. You should consider this carefully because once you make the request, you cannot withdraw it. We will make the change beginning with the month following the month that you make the request.

(2) We will not include the income and resources of the essential person if the person's income or resources would cause you to lose your eligibility. The loss of the essential person increment will be permanent.

§ 416.250 Experimental, pilot, and demonstration projects in the SSI program.

(a) Authority and purpose. Section 1110(b) of the Act authorizes the Commissioner to develop and conduct experimental, pilot, and demonstration projects to promote the objectives or improve the administration of the SSI program. These projects will test the advantages of altering certain requirements, conditions, or limitations for recipients and test different administrative methods that apply to title XVI applicants and recipients.

(b) Altering benefit requirements, limitations or conditions. Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, the Commissioner is authorized to waive any of the requirements, limitations or conditions established under title XVI of the Act and impose additional requirements, limitations or conditions for the purpose of conducting experimental, pilot, or demonstration projects. The projects will alter the provisions that currently apply to applicants and recipients to test their effect on the program. If, as a result of participation in a project under this section, a project participant becomes ineligible for Medicaid benefits, the Commissioner shall make arrangements to extend Medicaid coverage to such participant and shall reimburse the States for any additional expenses incurred due to such continued participation.

(c) Applicability and scope -

(1) Participants and nonparticipants. If you are selected to participate in an experimental, pilot, or demonstration project, we may temporarily set aside one or more current requirements, limitations or conditions of eligibility and apply alternative provisions to you. We may also modify current methods of administering title XVI as part of a project and apply alternative procedures or policies to you. The alternative provisions or methods of administration used in the projects will not substantially reduce your total income or resources as a result of your participation or disadvantage you in comparison to current provisions, policies, or procedures. If you are not selected to participate in the experimental, or pilot, or demonstration projects (or if you are placed in a control group which is not subject to the alternative requirements, limitations, or conditions) we will continue to apply the current requirements, limitations or conditions of eligibility to you.

(2) Alternative provisions or methods of administration. The alternative requirements, limitations or conditions that apply to you in an experimental, pilot, or demonstration project may include any of the factors needed for aged, blind, or disabled persons to be eligible for SSI benefits. Experiments that we conduct will include, to the extent feasible, applicants and recipients who are under age 18 as well as adults and will include projects to ascertain the feasibility of treating drug addicts and alcoholics.

(d) Selection of participants. Participation in the SSI project will be on a voluntary basis. The voluntary written consent necessary in order to participate in any experimental, pilot, or demonstration project may be revoked by the participant at any time.

(e) Duration of experimental, pilot, and demonstration projects. A notice describing each experimental, pilot, or demonstration project will be published in the Federal Register before each project is placed in operation. Each experimental, pilot and demonstration project will have a termination date (up to 10 years from the start of the project).

[48 FR 7576, Feb. 23, 1983, as amended at 52 FR 37605, Oct. 8, 1987; 62 FR 38454, July 18, 1997]

Special Provisions for People Who Work Despite a Disabling Impairment
§ 416.260 General.

The regulations in §§ 416.260 through 416.269 describe the rules for determining eligibility for special SSI cash benefits and for special SSI eligibility status for an individual who works despite a disabling impairment. Under these rules an individual who works despite a disabling impairment may qualify for special SSI cash benefits and in most cases for Medicaid benefits when his or her gross earned income exceeds the applicable dollar amount which ordinarily represents SGA described in § 416.974(b)(2). The calculation of this gross earned income amount, however, is not to be considered an actual SGA determination. Also, for purposes of determining eligibility or continuing eligibility for Medicaid benefits, a blind or disabled individual (no longer eligible for regular SSI benefits or for special SSI cash benefits) who, except for earnings, would otherwise be eligible for SSI cash benefits may be eligible for a special SSI eligibility status under which he or she is considered to be a blind or disabled individual receiving SSI benefits. We explain the rules for eligibility for special SSI cash benefits in §§ 416.261 and 416.262. We explain the rules for the special SSI eligibility status in §§ 416.264 through 416.269.

[59 FR 41403, Aug. 12, 1994]

§ 416.261 What are special SSI cash benefits and when are they payable.

Special SSI cash benefits are benefits that we may pay you in lieu of regular SSI benefits because your gross earned income in a month of initial eligibility for regular SSI benefits exceeds the amount ordinarily considered to represent SGA under § 416.974(b)(2). You must meet the eligibility requirements in § 416.262 in order to receive special SSI cash benefits. Special SSI cash benefits are not payable for any month in which your countable income exceeds the limits established for the SSI program (see subpart K of this part). If you are eligible for special SSI cash benefits, we consider you to be a disabled individual receiving SSI benefits for purposes of eligibility for Medicaid. We compute the amount of special SSI cash benefits according to the rules in subpart D of this part. If your State makes supplementary payments which we administer under a Federal-State agreement, and if your State elects to supplement the special SSI cash benefits, the rules in subpart T of this part will apply to these payments.

[47 FR 15324, Apr. 9, 1982, as amended at 50 FR 46763, Nov. 13, 1985; 59 FR 41403, Aug. 12, 1994]

§ 416.262 Eligibility requirements for special SSI cash benefits.

You are eligible for special SSI cash benefits if you meet the following requirements -

(a) You were eligible to receive a regular SSI benefit or a federally administered State supplementary payment (see § 416.2001) in a month before the month for which we are determining your eligibility for special SSI cash benefits as long as that month was not in a prior period of eligibility which has terminated according to §§ 416.1331 through 416.1335;

(b) In the month for which we are making the determination, your gross earned income exceeds the amount ordinarily considered to represent SGA under § 416.974(b)(2);

(c) You continue to have a disabling impairment;

(d) If your disability is based on a determination that drug addiction or alcoholism is a contributing factor material to the determination of disability as described in § 416.935, you have not yet received SSI cash benefits, special SSI cash benefits, or special SSI eligibility status for a total of 36 months, or Social Security benefit payments when treatment was available for a total of 36 months; and

(e) You meet all the nondisability requirements for eligibility for SSI benefits (see § 416.202).

We will follow the rules in this subpart in determining your eligibility for special SSI cash benefits.

[47 FR 15324, Apr. 9, 1982, as amended at 59 FR 41404, Aug. 12, 1994; 60 FR 8149, Feb. 10, 1995; 64 FR 31972, June 15, 1999]

§ 416.263 No additional application needed.

We do not require you to apply for special cash benefits nor is it necessary for you to apply to have the special SSI eligibility status determined. We will make these determinations automatically.

[47 FR 15324, Apr. 9, 1982]

§ 416.264 When does the special SSI eligibility status apply.

The special SSI eligibility status applies for the purposes of establishing or maintaining your eligibility for Medicaid. For these purposes we continue to consider you to be a blind or disabled individual receiving benefits even though you are in fact no longer receiving regular SSI benefits or special SSI cash benefits. You must meet the eligibility requirements in § 416.265 in order to qualify for the special SSI eligibility status. Special SSI eligibility status also applies for purposes of reacquiring status as eligible for regular SSI benefits or special SSI cash benefits.

[59 FR 41404, Aug. 12, 1994]

§ 416.265 Requirements for the special SSI eligibility status.

In order to be eligible for the special SSI eligibility status, you must have been eligible to receive a regular SSI benefit or a federally administered State supplementary payment (see § 416.2001) in a month before the month for which we are making the special SSI eligibility status determination. The month you were eligible for a regular SSI benefit or a federally administered State supplementary payment may not be in a prior period of eligibility which has been terminated according to §§ 416.1331 through 416.1335. For periods prior to May 1, 1991, you must be under age 65. Also, we must establish that:

(a) You are blind or you continue to have a disabling impairment which, if drug addiction or alcoholism is a contributing factor material to the determination of disability as described in § 416.935, has not resulted in your receiving SSI cash benefits, special SSI cash benefits, or special SSI eligibility status for a total of 36 months, or Social Security benefit payments when treatment was available for a total of 36 months;

(b) Except for your earnings, you meet all the nondisability requirements for eligibility for SSI benefits (see § 416.202);

(c) The termination of your eligibility for Medicaid would seriously inhibit your ability to continue working (see § 416.268); and

(d) Your earnings after the exclusions in § 416.1112(c) (6), (8), and (9) are not sufficient to allow you to provide yourself with a reasonable equivalent of the benefits (SSI benefits, federally administered State supplementary payments, Medicaid, and publicly-funded attendant care services, including personal care assistance under § 416.269(d)) which would be available to you if you did not have those earnings (see § 416.269).

[47 FR 15324, Apr. 9, 1982, as amended at 59 FR 41404, Aug. 12, 1994; 59 FR 49291, Sept. 27, 1994; 60 FR 8149, Feb. 10, 1995]

§ 416.266 Continuation of SSI status for Medicaid

If we stop your benefits because of your earnings and you are potentially eligible for the special SSI eligibility status you will continue to be considered an SSI recipient for purposes of eligibility for Medicaid during the time it takes us to determine whether the special eligibility status applies to you.

[47 FR 15324, Apr. 9, 1982]

§ 416.267 General.

We determine whether the special SSI eligibility status applies to you by verifying that you continue to be blind or have a disabling impairment by applying the rules in subpart I of this part, and by following the rules in this subpart to determine whether you meet the requirements in § 416.265(b). If you do not meet these requirements we determine that the special eligibility status does not apply. If you meet these requirements, then we apply special rules to determine if you meet the requirements of § 416.265 (c) and (d). If for the period being evaluated, you meet all of the requirements in § 416.265 we determine that the special status applies to you.

[47 FR 15324, Apr. 9, 1982]

§ 416.268 What is done to determine if you must have Medicaid in order to work.

For us to determine that you need Medicaid benefits in order to continue to work, you must establish:

(a) That you are currently using or have received services which were paid for by Medicaid during the period which began 12 months before our first contact with you to discuss this use; or

(b) That you expect to use these services within the next 12 months; or

(c) That you would need Medicaid to pay for unexpected medical expenses in the next 12 months.

[59 FR 41404, Aug. 12, 1994]

§ 416.269 What is done to determine whether your earnings are too low to provide comparable benefits and services you would receive in the absence of those earnings.

(a) What we determine. We must determine whether your earnings are too low to provide you with benefits and services comparable to the benefits and services you would receive if you did not have those earnings (see § 416.265(d)).

(b) How the determination is made. In determining whether your earnings are too low to provide you with benefits and services comparable to the benefits and services you would receive if you did not have those earnings, we compare your anticipated gross earnings (or a combination of anticipated and actual gross earnings, as appropriate) for the 12-month period beginning with the month for which your special SSI eligibility status is being determined to a threshold amount for your State of residence. This threshold amount consists of the sum for a 12-month period of two items, as follows:

(1) The amount of gross earnings including amounts excluded under § 416.1112(c) (4), (5) and (7) that would reduce to zero the Federal SSI benefit and the optional State supplementary payment for an individual with no other income living in his or her own household in the State where you reside. This amount will vary from State to State depending on the amount of the State supplementary payment; and

(2) The average expenditures for Medicaid benefits for disabled and blind SSI cash recipients, including recipients of federally administered State supplementary payments only, in your State of residence.

(c) How the eligibility requirements are met.

(1) You meet the requirements in § 416.265(d) if the comparison shows that your gross earnings are equal to or less than the applicable threshold amount for your State, as determined under paragraphs (b) (1) and (2) of this section. However, if the comparison shows that these earnings exceed the applicable threshold amount for your State, we will establish (and use in a second comparison) an individualized threshold taking into account the total amount of:

(i) The amount determined under paragraph (b)(1) of this section that would reduce to zero the Federal SSI benefit and State supplementary payment for your actual living arrangement;

(ii) The average Medicaid expenditures for your State of residence under paragraph (b)(2) of this section or, if higher, your actual medical expenditures in the appropriate 12-month period;

(iii) Any amounts excluded from your income as impairment-related work expenses (see § 416.1112(c)(6)), work expenses of the blind (see § 416.1112(c)(8)), and income used or set aside for use under an approved plan for achieving self support (see § 416.1112(c)(9)); and

(iv) the value of any publicly-funded attendant care services as described in paragraph (d) of this section (including personal care assistance).

(2) If you have already completed the 12-month period for which we are determining your eligibility, we will consider only the expenditures made in that period.

(d) Attendant care services. Expenditures for attendant care services (including personal care assistance) which would be available to you in the absence of earnings that make you ineligible for SSI cash benefits will be considered in the individualized threshold (as described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section) if we establish that they are:

(1) Provided by a paid attendant;

(2) Needed to assist with work-related and/or personal functions; and

(3) Paid from Federal, State, or local funds.

(e) Annual update of information. The threshold amounts used in determinations of sufficiency of earnings will be based on information and data updated no less frequently than annually.

[59 FR 41404, Aug. 12, 1994; 59 FR 49291, Sept. 27, 1994]

Subpart C - Filing of Applications
Authority:

Secs. 702(a)(5), 1611, and 1631 (a), (d), and (e) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 902(a)(5), 1382, and 1383 (a), (d), and (e)).

Source:

45 FR 48120, July 18, 1980, unless otherwise noted.

General Provisions
§ 416.301 Introduction.

This subpart contains the rules for filing a claim for supplemental security income (SSI) benefits. It tells you what an application is, who may sign it, who must file one to be eligible for benefits, the period of time it is in effect, and how it may be withdrawn. It also tells you when a written statement or an oral inquiry may be considered to establish an application filing date.

§ 416.302 Definitions.

For the purpose of this subpart -

Benefits means any payments made under the SSI program. SSI benefits also include any federally administered State supplementary payments.

Claimant means the person who files an application for himself or herself or the person on whose behalf an application is filed.

We or us means the Social Security Administration (SSA).

You or your means the person who applies for benefits, the person for whom an application is filed or anyone who may consider applying for benefits.

§ 416.305 You must file an application to receive supplemental security income benefits.

(a) General rule. In addition to meeting other requirements, you must file an application to become eligible to receive benefits. If you believe you may be eligible, you should file an application as soon as possible. Filing an application will -

(1) Permit us to make a formal determination whether or not you are eligible to receive benefits;

(2) Assure that you receive benefits for any months you are eligible to receive payment; and

(3) Give you the right to appeal if you disagree with the determination.

(b) Exceptions. You need not file a new application if -

(1) You have been receiving benefits as an eligible spouse and are no longer living with your husband or wife;

(2) You have been receiving benefits as an eligible spouse of an eligible individual who has died;

(3) You have been receiving benefits because you are disabled or blind and you are 65 years old before the date we determine that you are no longer blind or disabled.

(4) A redetermination of your eligibility is being made and it is found that you were not eligible for benefits during any part of a period for which we are making a redetermination but you currently meet the requirements for eligibility;

(5) You are notified that your payments of SSI benefits will be stopped because you are no longer eligible and you again meet the requirements for eligibility before your appeal rights are exhausted.

[45 FR 48120, July 18, 1980, as amended at 60 FR 16374, Mar. 30, 1995; 64 FR 31972, June 15, 1999]

Applications
§ 416.310 What makes an application a claim for benefits.

An application will be considered a claim for benefits, if the following requirements are met:

(a) An application form prescribed by us must be filled out.

(b) be filed at a social security office, at another Federal or State office we have designated to receive applications for us, or with a person we have authorized to receive applications for us. See § 416.325.

(c) The claimant or someone who may sign an application for the claimant must sign the application. See §§ 416.315 and 416.320.

(d) The claimant must be alive at the time the application is filed. See §§ 416.340, 416.345, and 416.351 for exceptions.

[45 FR 48120, July 18, 1980, as amended at 59 FR 44926, Aug. 31, 1994]

§ 416.315 Who may sign an application.

We will determine who may sign an application according to the following rules:

(a) If you are 18 years old or over, mentally competent, and physically able, you must sign your own application. If you are 16 years old or older and under age 18, you may sign the application if you are mentally competent, have no court appointed representative, and are not in the care of any other person or institution.

(b) If the claimant is under age 18, or is mentally incompetent, or is physically unable to sign the application, a court appointed representative or a person who is responsible for the care of the claimant, including a relative, may sign the application. If the claimant is in the care of an institution, the manager or principal officer of the institution may sign the application.

(c) To prevent a claimant from losing benefits because of a delay in filing an application when there is a good reason why the claimant cannot sign an application, we may accept an application signed by someone other than a person described in this section.

Example:

Mr. Smith comes to a Social Security office to file an application for SSI disability benefits for Mr. Jones. Mr. Jones, who lives alone, just suffered a heart attack and is in the hospital. He asked Mr. Smith, whose only relationship is that of a neighbor and friend, to file the application for him. We will accept an application signed by Mr. Smith since it would not be possible to have Mr. Jones sign and file the application at this time. SSI benefits can be paid starting with the first day of the month following the month the individual first meets all eligibility requirements for such benefits, including having filed an application. If Mr. Smith could not sign an application for Mr. Jones, a loss of benefits would result if it is later determined that Mr. Jones is in fact disabled.

[45 FR 48120, July 18, 1980, as amended at 51 FR 13492, Apr. 21, 1986; 64 FR 31972, June 15, 1999]

§ 416.320 Evidence of authority to sign an application for another.

(a) A person who signs an application for someone else will be required to provide evidence of his or her authority to sign the application for the person claiming benefits under the following rules:

(1) If the person who signs is a court appointed representative, he or she must submit a certificate issued by the court showing authority to act for the claimant.

(2) If the person who signs is not a court appointed representative, he or she must submit a statement describing his or her relationship to the claimant. The statement must also describe the extent to which the person is responsible for the care of the claimant. This latter information will not be requested if the application is signed by a parent for a child with whom he or she is living. If the person signing is the manager or principal officer of an institution he or she should show his or her title.

(b) We may, at any time, require additional evidence to establish the authority of a person to sign an application for someone else.

[45 FR 48120, July 18, 1980, as amended at 51 FR 13493, Apr. 21, 1986]

§ 416.325 When an application is considered filed.

(a) General rule. We consider an application for SSI benefits filed on the day it is received by an employee at any social security office, by someone at another Federal or State office designated to receive applications for us, or by a person we have authorized to receive applications for us.

(b) Exceptions.

(1) When we receive an application that is mailed, we will use the date shown by the United States postmark as the filing date if using the date the application is received will result in a loss of benefits. If the postmark is unreadable or there is no postmark, we will use the date the application is signed (if dated) or 5 days before the day we receive the signed application, whichever date is later.

(2) We consider an application to be filed on the date of the filing of a written statement or the making of an oral inquiry under the conditions in §§ 416.340, 416.345 and 416.350.

(3) We will establish a “deemed” filing date of an application in a case of misinformation under the conditions described in § 416.351. The filing date of the application will be a date determined under § 416.351(b).

[45 FR 48120, July 18, 1980, as amended at 51 FR 13493, Apr. 21, 1986; 59 FR 44926, Aug. 31, 1994]

§ 416.327 Pilot program for photographic identification of disability benefit applicants in designated geographic areas.

(a) To be eligible for SSI disability or blindness benefits in the designated pilot geographic areas during the time period of the pilot, you or a person acting on your behalf must give SSA permission to take your photograph and make this photograph a part of the claims folder. You must give us this permission when you apply for benefits and/or when we ask for it at a later time. Failure to cooperate will result in denial of benefits. We will permit an exception to the photograph requirement when an individual has a sincere religious objection. This pilot will be in effect for a six-month period after these final rules become effective.

(b) Designated pilot geographic areas means:

(1) All SSA field offices in the State of South Carolina.

(2) The Augusta, Georgia SSA field office.

(3) All SSA field offices in the State of Kansas.

(4) Selected SSA field offices located in New York City.

[68 FR 23195, May 1, 2003]

Effective Filing Period of Application
§ 416.330 Filing before the first month you meet the requirements for eligibility.

If you file an application for SSI benefits before the first month you meet all the other requirements for eligibility, the application will remain in effect from the date it is filed until we make a final determination on your application, unless there is a hearing decision on your application. If there is a hearing decision, your application will remain in effect until the hearing decision is issued.

(a) If you meet all the requirements for eligibility while your application is in effect, the earliest month for which we can pay you benefits is the month following the month that you first meet all the requirements.

(b) If you first meet all the requirements for eligibility after the period for which your application was in effect, you must file a new application for benefits. In this case, we can pay you benefits only from the first day of the month following the month that you meet all the requirements based on the new application.

[64 FR 31973, June 15, 1999]

§ 416.335 Filing in or after the month you meet the requirements for eligibility.

When you file an application in the month that you meet all the other requirements for eligibility, the earliest month for which we can pay you benefits is the month following the month you filed the application. If you file an application after the month you first meet all the other requirements for eligibility, we cannot pay you for the month in which your application is filed or any months before that month. See §§ 416.340, 416.345 and 416.350 on how a written statement or an oral inquiry made before the filing of the application form may affect the filing date of the application.

[64 FR 31973, June 15, 1999]

Filing Date Based Upon a Written Statement or Oral Inquiry
§ 416.340 Use of date of written statement as application filing date.

We will use the date a written statement, such as a letter, an SSA questionnaire or some other writing, is received at a social security office, at another Federal or State office designated by us, or by a person we have authorized to receive applications for us as the filing date of an application for benefits, only if the use of that date will result in your eligibility for additional benefits. If the written statement is mailed, we will use the date the statement was mailed to us as shown by a United States postmark. If the postmark is unreadable or there is no postmark, we will use the date the statement is signed (if dated) or 5 days before the day we receive the written statement, whichever date is later, as the filing date of an application for benefits. In order for us to use your written statement to protect your filing date, the following requirements must be met:

(a) The written statement shows an intent to claim benefits for yourself or for another person.

(b) You, your spouse or a person who may sign an application for you signs the statement.

(c) An application form signed by you or by a person who may sign an application for you is filed with us within 60 days after the date of a notice we will send telling of the need to file an application. The notice will say that we will make an initial determination of eligibility for SSI benefits if an application form is filed within 60 days after the date of the notice. (We will send the notice to the claimant, or where he or she is a minor or incompetent, to the person who gave us the written statement.)

(d)

(1) The claimant is alive when the application is filed on a prescribed form, or

(2) If the claimant dies after the written statement is filed, the deceased claimant's surviving spouse or parent(s) who could be paid the claimant's benefits under § 416.542(b), or someone on behalf of the surviving spouse or parent(s) files an application form. If we learn that the claimant has died before the notice is sent or within 60 days after the notice but before an application form is filed, we will send a notice to such a survivor. The notice will say that we will make an initial determination of eligibility for SSI benefits only if an application form is filed on behalf of the deceased within 60 days after the date of the notice to the survivor.

[45 FR 48120, July 18, 1980, as amended at 51 FR 13493, Apr. 21, 1986; 58 FR 52912, Oct. 13, 1993]

§ 416.345 Use of date of oral inquiry as application filing date.

We will use the date of an oral inquiry about SSI benefits as the filing date of an application for benefits only if the use of that date will result in your eligibility for additional benefits and the following requirements are met:

(a) The inquiry asks about the claimant's eligibility for SSI benefits.

(b) The inquiry is made by the claimant, the claimant's spouse, or a person who may sign an application on the claimant's behalf as described in § 416.315.

(c) The inquiry, whether in person or by telephone, is directed to an office or an official described in § 416.310(b).

(d) The claimant or a person on his or her behalf as described in § 416.315 files an application on a prescribed form within 60 days after the date of the notice we will send telling of the need to file an application. The notice will say that we will make an initial determination of eligibility for SSI benefits if an application form is filed within 60 days after the date of the notice. (We will send the notice to the claimant or, where he or she is a minor or incompetent, to the person who made the inquiry.)

(e)

(1) The claimant is alive when the application is filed on a prescribed form, or

(2) If the claimant dies after the oral inquiry is made, the deceased claimant's surviving spouse or parent(s) who could be paid the claimant's benefits under § 416.542(b), or someone on behalf of the surviving spouse or parent(s) files an application form. If we learn that the claimant has died before the notice is sent or within 60 days after the notice but before an application form is filed, we will send a notice to such a survivor. The notice will say that we will make an initial determination of eligibility for SSI benefits only if an application form is filed on behalf of the deceased within 60 days after the date of the notice to the survivor.

[45 FR 48120, July 18, 1980, as amended at 51 FR 13493, Apr. 21, 1986; 58 FR 52912, Oct. 13, 1993]

§ 416.350 Treating a title II application as an oral inquiry about SSI benefits.

(a) When a person applies for benefits under title II (retirement, survivors, or disability benefits) we will explain the requirements for receiving SSI benefits and give the person a chance to file an application for them if -

(1) The person is within 2 months of age 65 or older or it looks as if the person might qualify as a blind or disabled person, and

(2) It is not clear that the person's title II benefits would prevent him or her from receiving SSI or any State supplementary benefits handled by the Social Security Administration.

(b) If the person applying for title II benefits does not file an application for SSI on a prescribed form when SSI is explained to him or her, we will treat his or her filing of an application for title II benefits as an oral inquiry about SSI, and the date of the title II application form may be used to establish the SSI application date if the requirements of § 416.345 (d) and (e) are met.

Deemed Filing Date Based on Misinformation
§ 416.351 Deemed filing date in a case of misinformation.

(a) General. You may have considered applying for SSI benefits for yourself or for another person, and you may have contacted us in writing, by telephone or in person to inquire about filing an application for these benefits. It is possible that in responding to your inquiry, we may have given you misinformation about your eligibility for such benefits, or the eligibility of the person on whose behalf you were considering applying for benefits, which caused you not to file an application at that time. If this happened, and later an application for such benefits is filed with us, we may establish an earlier filing date under this section.

Example 1:

Ms. Jones calls a Social Security office to inquire about filing an application for SSI benefits. During her conversation with an SSA employee, she tells the employee about her resources. The SSA employee tells Ms. Jones that because her countable resources are above the allowable limit, she would be ineligible for SSI benefits. The employee fails to consider certain resource exclusions under the SSI program which would have reduced Ms. Jones' countable resources below the allowable limit, making her eligible for benefits. Because Ms. Jones thought that she would be ineligible, she decides not to file an application for SSI benefits. Ms. Jones later reads about resource exclusions under the SSI program. She recontacts the Social Security office to file an SSI application, and alleges that she had been previously misinformed about her eligibility for SSI benefits. She files an application for SSI benefits, provides the information required under paragraph (f) of this section to show that an SSA employee provided misinformation, and requests a deemed filing date based upon her receipt of misinformation.

Example 2:

Mr. Adams resides in a State which provides State supplementary payments that are administered by SSA under the SSI program. He telephones a Social Security office and tells an SSA employee that he does not have enough income to live on and wants to file for SSI benefits. Mr. Adams states that his only income is his monthly Social Security benefit check. The SSA employee checks Mr. Adams' Social Security record and advises him that he is ineligible for SSI benefits based on the amount of his monthly Social Security benefit. The employee does not consider whether Mr. Adams would be eligible for State supplementary payments. Because Mr. Adams was told that he would not be eligible for benefits under the SSI program, he does not file an application. The employee does not make a record of Mr. Adams' oral inquiry or take any other action. A year later, Mr. Adams speaks to a neighbor who receives the same Social Security benefit amount that Mr. Adams does, but also receives payments under the SSI program. Thinking the law may have changed, Mr. Adams recontacts a Social Security office and learns from an SSA employee that he would be eligible for State supplementary payments under the SSI program and that he could have received these payments earlier had he filed an application. Mr. Adams explains that he did not file an application earlier because he was told by an SSA employee that he was not eligible for SSI benefits. Mr. Adams files an application for the benefits, provides the information required under paragraph (f) of this section to show that an SSA employee provided misinformation, and requests a deemed filing date based on the misinformation provided to him earlier.

(b) Deemed filing date of an application based on misinformation. Subject to the requirements and conditions in paragraphs (c) through (g) of this section, we may establish a deemed filing date of an application for SSI benefits under the following provisions.

(1)

(i) If we determine that you failed to apply for SSI benefits for yourself because we gave you misinformation about your eligibility for such benefits, we will deem an application for such benefits to have been filed with us on the later of -

(A) The date on which the misinformation was provided to you; or

(B) The date on which you met all of the requirements for eligibility for such benefits, other than the requirement of filing an application.

(ii) Before we may establish a deemed filing date of an application for benefits for you under paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section, you or a person described in § 416.315 must file an application for such benefits. If you die before an application for the benefits is filed with us, we will consider establishing a deemed filing date of an application for such benefits only if a person who would be qualified under § 416.542(b) to receive any benefits due you, or someone on his or her behalf, files an application for the benefits.

(2)

(i) If you had authority under § 416.315 to sign an application for benefits for another person, and we determine that you failed to apply for SSI benefits for that person because we gave you misinformation about that person's eligibility for such benefits, we will deem an application for such benefits to have been filed with us on the later of -

(A) The date on which the misinformation was provided to you; or

(B) The date on which the person met all of the requirements for eligibility for such benefits, other than the requirement of filing an application.

(ii) Before we may establish a deemed filing date of an application for benefits for the person under paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, you, such person, or another person described in § 416.315 must file an application for such benefits. If the person referred to in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section dies before an application for the benefits is filed with us, we will consider establishing a deemed filing date of an application for such benefits only if a person who would be qualified under § 416.542(b) to receive any benefits due the deceased person, or someone on his behalf, files an application for the benefits.

(c) Requirements concerning the misinformation. We apply the following requirements for purposes of paragraph (b) of this section.

(1) The misinformation must have been provided to you by one of our employees while he or she was acting in his or her official capacity as our employee. For purposes of this section, an employee includes an officer of SSA.

(2) Misinformation is information which we consider to be incorrect, misleading, or incomplete in view of the facts which you gave to the employee, or of which the employee was aware or should have been aware, regarding your particular circumstances, or the particular circumstances of the person referred to in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section. In addition, for us to find that the information you received was incomplete, the employee must have failed to provide you with the appropriate, additional information which he or she would be required to provide in carrying out his or her official duties.

(3) The misinformation may have been provided to you orally or in writing.

(4) The misinformation must have been provided to you in response to a specific request by you to us for information about your eligibility for benefits or the eligibility for benefits of the person referred to in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section for which you were considering filing an application.

(d) Evidence that misinformation was provided. We will consider the following evidence in making a determination under paragraph (b) of this section.

(1) Preferred evidence. Preferred evidence is written evidence which relates directly to your inquiry about your eligibility for benefits or the eligibility of another person and which shows that we gave you misinformation which caused you not to file an application. Preferred evidence includes, but is not limited to, the following -

(i) A notice, letter, or other document which was issued by us and addressed to you; or

(ii) Our record of your telephone call, letter, or in-person contact.

(2) Other evidence. In the absence of preferred evidence, we will consider other evidence, including your statements about the alleged misinformation, to determine whether we gave you misinformation which caused you not to file an application. We will not find that we gave you misinformation, however, based solely on your statements. Other evidence which you provide or which we obtain must support your statements. Evidence which we will consider includes, but is not limited to, the following -

(i) Your statements about the alleged misinformation, including statements about -

(A) The date and time of the alleged contact(s);

(B) How the contact was made, e.g., by telephone or in person;

(C) The reason(s) the contact was made;

(D) Who gave the misinformation; and

(E) The questions you asked and the facts you gave us, and the questions we asked and the information we gave you at the time of the contact;

(ii) Statements from others who were present when you were given the alleged misinformation, e.g., a neighbor who accompanied you to our office;

(iii) If you can identify the employee or the employee can recall your inquiry about benefits -

(A) Statements from the employee concerning the alleged contact, including statements about the questions you asked, the facts you gave, the questions the employee asked, and the information provided to you at the time of the alleged contact; and

(B) Our assessment of the likelihood that the employee provided the alleged misinformation;

(iv) An evaluation of the credibility and the validity of your allegations in conjunction with other relevant information; and

(v) Any other information regarding your alleged contact.

(e) Information which does not constitute satisfactory proof that misinformation was given. Certain kinds of information will not be considered satisfactory proof that we gave you misinformation which caused you not to file an application. Examples of such information include -

(1) General informational pamphlets that we issue to provide basic program information;

(2) The SSI Benefit Estimate Letter that is based on an individual's reported and projected income and is an estimate which can be requested at any time;

(3) General information which we review or prepare but which is disseminated by the media, e.g., radio, television, magazines, and newspapers; and

(4) Information provided by other governmental agencies, e.g., the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, State unemployment agencies, and State and local governments.

(f) Claim for benefits based on misinformation. You may make a claim for benefits based on misinformation at any time. Your claim must contain information that will enable us to determine if we did provide misinformation to you about your eligibility for SSI benefits, or the eligibility of a person on whose behalf you were considering applying for benefits, which caused you not to file an application for the benefits. Specifically, your claim must be in writing and it must explain what information was provided; how, when, and where it was provided and by whom; and why the information caused you not to file an application. If you give us this information, we will make a determination on such a claim for benefits if all of the following conditions are also met.

(1) An application for the benefits described in paragraph (b)(1)(i) or (b)(2)(i) of this section is filed with us by someone described in paragraph (b)(1)(ii) or (b)(2)(ii) of this section, as appropriate. The application must be filed after the alleged misinformation was provided. This application may be -

(i) An application on which we have made a previous final determination or decision awarding the benefits, but only if the claimant continues to be eligible for benefits (or again could be eligible for benefits) based on that application;

(ii) An application on which we have made a previous final determination or decision denying the benefits, but only if such determination or decision is reopened under § 416.1488; or

(iii) A new application on which we have not made a final determination or decision.

(2) The establishment of a deemed filing date of an application for benefits based on misinformation could result in the claimant becoming eligible for benefits or for additional benefits.

(3) We have not made a previous final determination or decision to which you were a party on a claim for benefits based on alleged misinformation involving the same facts and issues. This provision does not apply, however, if the final determination or decision may be reopened under § 416.1488.

(g) Effective date. This section applies only to misinformation which we provided on or after December 19, 1989. In addition, this section is effective only for benefits payable for months after December 1989.

[59 FR 44926, Aug. 31, 1994]

Withdrawal of Application
§ 416.355 Withdrawal of an application.

(a) Request for withdrawal filed before we make a determination. If you make a request to withdraw your application before we make a determination on your claim, we will approve the request if the following requirements are met:

(1) You or a person who may sign an application for you signs a written request to withdraw the application and files it at a place described in § 416.325.

(2) You are alive when the request is filed.

(b) Request for withdrawal filed after a determination is made. If you make a request to withdraw your application after we make a determination on your claim, we will approve the request if the following requirements are met:

(1) The conditions in paragraph (a) of this section are met.

(2) Every other person who may lose benefits because of the withdrawal consents in writing (anyone who could sign an application for that person may give the consent).

(3) All benefits already paid based on the application are repaid or we are satisfied that they will be repaid.

(c) Effect of withdrawal. If we approve your request to withdraw an application, we will treat the application as though you never filed it. If we disapprove your request for withdrawal, we will treat the application as though you never requested the withdrawal.

§ 416.360 Cancellation of a request to withdraw.

You may cancel your request to withdraw your application and your application will still be good if the following requirements are met:

(a) You or a person who may sign an application for you signs a written request for cancellation and files it at a place described in § 416.325.

(b) You are alive at the time the request for cancellation is filed.

(c) For a cancellation request received after we have approved the withdrawal, the cancellation request is filed no later than 60 days after the date of the notice of approval of the withdrawal request.

Subpart D - Amount of Benefits
Authority:

Secs. 702(a)(5), 1611 (a), (b), (c), and (e), 1612, 1617, and 1631 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 902(a)(5), 1382 (a), (b), (c), and (e), 1382a, 1382f, and 1383).

§ 416.401 Scope of subpart.

This subpart D sets forth basic guidelines for establishing the amount of monthly benefits payable to an eligible individual or couple (as defined in § 416.120(c)(5)). This subpart does not contain provisions with respect to establishing the amount of State supplementary payments payable in accordance with an agreement entered into between a State and the Administration under the provisions of subpart T of this part. Provisions with respect to determination and payment of State supplementary payments under such agreements will be administered by the Administration in accordance with the terms set forth in such agreements.

[39 FR 23053, June 26, 1974]

§ 416.405 Cost-of-living adjustments in benefits.

Whenever benefit amounts under title II of the Act (part 404 of this chapter) are increased by any percentage effective with any month as a result of a determination made under Section 215(i) of the Act, each of the dollar amounts in effect for such month under §§ 416.410, 416.412, and 416.413, as specified in such sections or as previously increased under this section or under any provision of the Act, will be increased. We will increase the unrounded yearly SSI benefit amount by the same percentage by which the title II benefits are being increased based on the Consumer Price Index, or, if greater, the percentage they would be increased if the rise in the Consumer Price Index were currently the basis for the title II increase. (See §§ 404.270-404.277 for an explanation of how the title II cost-of-living adjustment is computed.) If the increased annual SSI benefit amount is not a multiple of $12, it will be rounded to the next lower multiple of $12.

[51 FR 12606, Apr. 21, 1986; 51 FR 16016, Apr. 30, 1986]

§ 416.410 Amount of benefits; eligible individual.

The benefit under this part for an eligible individual (including the eligible individual receiving benefits payable under the § 416.212 provisions) who does not have an eligible spouse, who is not subject to either benefit suspension under § 416.1325 or benefit reduction under § 416.414, and who is not a qualified individual (as defined in § 416.221) shall be payable at the rate of $5,640 per year ($470 per month) effective for the period beginning January 1, 1996. This rate is the result of a 2.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment (see § 416.405) to the December 1995 rate. For the period January 1, through December 31, 1995, the rate payable, as increased by the 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment, was $5,496 per year ($458 per month). For the period January 1, through December 31, 1994, the rate payable, as increased by the 2.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment, was $5,352 per year ($446 per month). The monthly rate is reduced by the amount of the individual's income which is not excluded pursuant to subpart K of this part.

[61 FR 10278, Mar. 13, 1996]

§ 416.412 Amount of benefits; eligible couple.

The benefit under this part for an eligible couple (including couples where one or both members of the couple are receiving benefits payable under the § 416.212 provisions), neither of whom is subject to suspension of benefits based on § 416.1325 or reduction of benefits based on § 416.414 nor is a qualified individual (as defined in § 416.221) shall be payable at the rate of $8,460 per year ($705 per month), effective for the period beginning January 1, 1996. This rate is the result of a 2.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment (see § 416.405) to the December 1995 rate. For the period January 1, through December 31, 1995, the rate payable, as increased by the 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment, was $8,224 per year ($687 per month). For the period January 1, through December 31, 1994, the rate payable, as increased by the 2.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment, was $8,028 per year ($669 per month). The monthly rate is reduced by the amount of the couple's income which is not excluded pursuant to subpart K of this part.

[61 FR 10278, Mar. 13, 1996]

§ 416.413 Amount of benefits; qualified individual.

The benefit under this part for a qualified individual (defined in § 416.221) is payable at the rate for an eligible individual or eligible couple plus an increment for each essential person (defined in § 416.222) in the household, reduced by the amount of countable income of the eligible individual or eligible couple as explained in § 416.420. A qualified individual will receive an increment of $2,820 per year ($235 per month), effective for the period beginning January 1, 1996. This rate is the result of the 2.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment (see § 416.405) to the December 1995 rate, and is for each essential person (as defined in § 416.222) living in the household of a qualified individual. (See § 416.532.) For the period January 1, through December 31, 1995, the rate payable, as increased by the 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment, was $2,748 per year ($229 per month). For the period January 1, through December 31, 1994, the rate payable, as increased by the 2.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment, was $2,676 per year ($223 per month). The total benefit rate, including the increment, is reduced by the amount of the individual's or couple's income that is not excluded pursuant to subpart K of this part.

[61 FR 10278, Mar. 13, 1996]

§ 416.414 Amount of benefits; eligible individual or eligible couple in a medical treatment facility.

(a) General rule. Except where the § 416.212 provisions provide for payment of benefits at the rates specified under §§ 416.410 and 416.412, reduced SSI benefits are payable to persons and couples who are in medical treatment facilities where a substantial part (more than 50 percent) of the cost of their care is paid by a State plan under title XIX of the Social Security Act (Medicaid). This reduced SSI benefit rate applies to persons who are in medical treatment facilities where a substantial part (more than 50 percent) of the cost would have been paid by an approved Medicaid State plan but for the application of section 1917(c) of the Social Security Act due to a transfer of assets for less than fair market value. This reduced SSI benefit rate also applies to children under age 18 who are in medical treatment facilities where a substantial part (more than 50 percent) of the cost of their care is paid by a health insurance policy issued by a private provider of such insurance, or where a substantial part (more than 50 percent) of the cost of their care is paid for by a combination of Medicaid payments and payments made under a health insurance policy issued by a private provider of such insurance. Persons and couples to whom these reduced benefits apply are -

(1) Those who are otherwise eligible and who are in the medical treatment facility throughout a month. (By throughout a month we mean that you are in the medical treatment facility as of the beginning of the month and stay the entire month. If you are in a medical treatment facility you will be considered to have continuously been staying there if you are transferred from one medical treatment facility to another or if you are temporarily absent for a period of not more than 14 consecutive days.); and

(2) Those who reside for part of a month in a public institution and for the rest of the month are in a public or private medical treatment facility where Medicaid pays or would have paid (but for the application of section 1917(c) of the Act) a substantial part (more than 50 percent) of the cost of their care; and

(3) Children under age 18 who reside for part of a month in a public institution and for the rest of the month are in a public or private medical treatment facility where a substantial part (more than 50 percent) of the cost of their care is being paid under a health insurance policy issued by a private provider or by a combination of Medicaid and payments under a health insurance policy issued by a private provider.

(b) The benefit rates are -

(1) Eligible individual. For months after June 1988, the benefit rate for an eligible individual with no eligible spouse is $30 per month. The benefit payment is figured by subtracting the eligible individual's countable income (see subpart K) from the benefit rate as explained in § 416.420.

(2) Eligible couple both of whom are temporarily absent from home in medical treatment facilities as described in § 416.1149(c)(1). For months after June 1988, the benefit rate for a couple is $60 a month. The benefit payment is figured by subtracting the couple's countable income (see subpart K) from the benefit rate as explained in § 416.420.

(3) Eligible couple with one spouse who is temporarily absent from home as described in § 416.1149(c)(1). The couple's benefit rate equals:

(i) For months after June 1988, $30 per month for the spouse in the medical treatment facility; plus

(ii) The benefit rate for an eligible individual (see § 416.410) for the spouse who is not in the medical treatment facility. The benefit payment for each spouse is figured by subtracting each individual's own countable income in the appropriate month (see § 416.420) from his or her portion of the benefit rate shown in paragraphs (b)(3) (i) and (ii).

(c) Definition. For purposes of this section, a medical treatment facility means an institution or that part of an institution that is licensed or otherwise approved by a Federal, State, or local government to provide inpatient medical care and services.

[47 FR 3106, Jan. 22, 1982, as amended at 50 FR 48571, Nov. 26, 1985; 50 FR 51514, Dec. 18, 1985; 54 FR 19164, May 4, 1989; 58 FR 64894, Dec. 10, 1993; 60 FR 16374, Mar. 30, 1995; 61 FR 10278, Mar. 13, 1996; 62 FR 1056, Jan. 8, 1997; 72 FR 50874, Sept. 5, 2007; 72 FR 54350, Sept. 25, 2007]

§ 416.415 Amount of benefits; eligible individual is disabled child under age 18.

(a) If you are a disabled child under age 18 and meet the conditions in § 416.1165(i) for waiver of deeming, your parents' income will not be deemed to you and your benefit rate will be $30 a month.

(b) If you are a disabled child under age 18 and do not meet the conditions in § 416.1165(i) only because your parents' income is not high enough to make you ineligible for SSI but deeming of your parents' income would result in an SSI benefit less than the amount payable if you received benefits as a child under § 416.1165(i), your benefit will be the amount payable if you received benefits as a child under § 416.1165(i).

[60 FR 361, Jan. 4, 1995]

§ 416.420 Determination of benefits; general.

Benefits shall be determined for each month. The amount of the monthly payment will be computed by reducing the benefit rate (see §§ 416.410, 416.412, 416.413, and 416.414) by the amount of countable income as figured under the rules in subpart K of this part. The appropriate month's countable income to be used to determine how much your benefit payment will be for the current month (the month for which a benefit is payable) will be determined as follows:

(a) General rule. We generally use the amount of your countable income in the second month prior to the current month to determine how much your benefit amount will be for the current month. We will use the benefit rate (see §§ 416.410 through 416.414), as increased by a cost-of-living adjustment, in determining the value of the one-third reduction or the presumed maximum value, to compute your SSI benefit amount for the first 2 months in which the cost-of-living adjustment is in effect. If you have been receiving an SSI benefit and a Social Security insurance benefit and the latter is increased on the basis of the cost-of-living adjustment or because your benefit is recomputed, we will compute the amount of your SSI benefit for January, the month of an SSI benefit increase, by including in your income the amount by which your Social Security benefit in January exceeds the amount of your Social Security benefit in November. Similarly, we will compute the amount of your SSI benefit for February by including in your income the amount by which your Social Security benefit in February exceeds the amount of your Social Security benefit in December.

Example 1.

Mrs. X's benefit amount is being determined for September (the current month). Mrs. X's countable income in July is used to determine the benefit amount for September.

Example 2.

Mr. Z's SSI benefit amount is being determined for January (the current month). There has been a cost-of-living increase in SSI benefits effective January. Mr. Z's countable income in November is used to determine the benefit amount for January. In November, Mr. Z had in-kind support and maintenance valued at the presumed maximum value as described in § 416.1140(a). We will use the January benefit rate, as increased by the COLA, to determine the value of the in-kind support and maintenance Mr. Z received in November when we determine Mr. Z's SSI benefit amount for January.

Example 3.

Mr. Y's SSI benefit amount is being determined for January (the current month). Mr. Y has Social Security income of $100 in November, $100 in December, and $105 in January. We find the amount by which his Social Security income in January exceeds his Social Security income in November ($5) and add that to his income in November to determine the SSI benefit amount for January.

(b) Exceptions to the general rule -

(1) First month of initial eligibility for payment or the first month of eligibility after a month of ineligibility. We use your countable income in the current month to determine your benefit amount for the first month you are initially eligible for payment of SSI benefits (see § 416.501) or for the first month you again become eligible for SSI benefits after at least a month of ineligibility. Your payment for a first month of reeligibility after at least one-month of ineligibility will be prorated according to the number of days in the month that you are eligible beginning with the date on which you reattain eligibility.

Example:

Mrs. Y applies for SSI benefits in September and meets the requirements for eligibility in that month. (We use Mrs. Y's countable income in September to determine if she is eligible for SSI in September.) The first month for which she can receive payment is October (see § 416.501). We use Mrs. Y's countable income in October to determine the amount of her benefit for October. If Mrs. Y had been receiving SSI benefits through July, became ineligible for SSI benefits in August, and again became eligible for such benefits in September, we would use Mrs. Y's countable income in September to determine the amount of her benefit for September. In addition, the proration rules discussed above would also apply to determine the amount of benefits in September in this second situation.

(2) Second month of initial eligibility for payment or second month of eligibility after a month of ineligibility. We use your countable income in the first month prior to the current month to determine how much your benefit amount will be for the current month when the current month is the second month of initial eligibility for payment or the second month of reeligibility following at least a month of ineligibility. However, if you have been receiving both an SSI benefit and a Social Security insurance benefit and the latter is increased on the basis of the cost-of-living adjustment or because your benefit is recomputed, we will compute the amount of your SSI benefit for January, the month of an SSI benefit increase, by including in your income the amount by which your Social Security benefit in January exceeds the amount of your Social Security benefit in December.

Example:

Mrs. Y was initially eligible for payment of SSI benefits in October. Her benefit amount for November will be based on her countable income in October (first prior month).

(3) Third month of initial eligibility for payment or third month of eligibility after a month of ineligibility. We use your countable income according to the rule set out in paragraph (a) of this section to determine how much your benefit amount will be for the third month of initial eligibility for payment or the third month of reeligibility after at least a month of ineligibility.

Example:

Mrs. Y was initially eligible for payment of SSI benefits in October. Her benefit amount for December will be based on her countable income in October (second prior month).

(4) Income derived from certain assistance payments. We use your income in the current month from the programs listed below to determine your benefit amount for that same month. The assistance programs are as follows:

(i) Aid to Families with Dependent Children under title IV-A of the Social Security Act (the Act);

(ii) Foster Care under title IV-E of the Act;

(iii) Refugee Cash Assistance pursuant to section 412(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act;

(iv) Cuban and Haitian Entrant Assistance pursuant to section 501(a) of Pub. L. 96-422; and

(v) Bureau of Indian Affairs general assistance and child welfare assistance pursuant to 42 Stat. 208 as amended.

(c) Reliable information which is currently available for determining benefits. The Commissioner has determined that no reliable information exists which is currently available to use in determining benefit amounts.

(1) Reliable information. For purposes of this section reliable information means payment information that is maintained on a computer system of records by the government agency determining the payments (e.g., Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Personnel Management for Federal civil service information and the Railroad Retirement Board).

(2) Currently available information. For purposes of this section currently available information means information that is available at such time that it permits us to compute and issue a correct benefit for the month the information is pertinent.

(d) Payment of benefits. See subpart E of this part for the rules on payments and the minimum monthly benefit (as explained in § 416.503).

[50 FR 48571, Nov. 26, 1985; 50 FR 51514, Dec. 18, 1985, as amended at 54 FR 31657, Aug. 1, 1989; 62 FR 30751, June 5, 1997; 63 FR 33546, June 19, 1998; 64 FR 31973, June 15, 1999]

§ 416.421 Determination of benefits; computation of prorated benefits.

(a) In the month that you reacquire eligibility after a month or more of ineligibility (see § 416.1320(b)), your benefit will be prorated according to the number of days in the month that you are eligible beginning with the date on which you meet all eligibility requirements.

(b) In determining the amount of your benefit for a month in which benefits are to be prorated, we first compute the amount of the benefit that you would receive for the month as if proration did not apply. We then determine the date on which you meet all factors of eligibility. (The income limits must be met based on the entire month and the resource limit must be as of the first day of the month.) We then count the number of days in the month beginning with the day on which you first meet all factors of eligibility through the end of the month. We then multiply the amount of your unprorated benefit for the month by the number of days for which you are eligible for benefits and divide that figure by the number of days in the month for which your benefit is being determined. The result is the amount of the benefit that you are due for the month in which benefits are to be prorated.

[51 FR 13493, Apr. 14, 1986, as amended at 64 FR 31973, June 15, 1999]

§ 416.426 Change in status involving an individual; ineligibility occurs.

Whenever benefits are suspended or terminated for an individual because of ineligibility, no benefit is payable for that month.

[50 FR 48571, Nov. 26, 1985]

§ 416.428 Eligible individual without an eligible spouse has an essential person in his home.

When an eligible individual without an eligible spouse has an essential person (as defined in § 416.222 of this part) in his home, the amount by which his rate of payment is increased is determined in accordance with §§ 416.220 through 416.223 and with 416.413 of this part. The essential person's income is deemed to be that of the eligible individual, and the provisions of §§ 416.401 through 416.426 will apply in determining the benefit of such eligible individual.

[39 FR 23053, June 26, 1974, as amended at 51 FR 10616, Mar. 28, 1986; 65 FR 16814, Mar. 30, 2000]

§ 416.430 Eligible individual with eligible spouse; essential person(s) present.

(a) When an eligible individual with an eligible spouse has an essential person (§ 416.222) living in his or her home, or when both such persons each has an essential person, the increase in the rate of payment is determined in accordance with §§ 416.413 and 416.532. The income of the essential person(s) is included in the income of the couple and the payment due will be equally divided between each member of the eligible couple.

(b) When one member of an eligible couple is temporarily absent in accordance with § 416.1149(c)(1) and § 416.222(c) and either one or both individuals has an essential person, add the essential person increment to the benefit rate for the member of the couple who is actually residing with the essential person and include the income of the essential person in that member's income. See § 416.414(b)(3).

[60 FR 16375, Mar. 30, 1995]

§ 416.432 Change in status involving a couple; eligibility continues.

When there is a change in status which involves the formation or dissolution of an eligible couple (for example, marriage, divorce), a redetermination of the benefit amount shall be made for the months subsequent to the month of such formation or dissolution of the couple in accordance with the following rules:

(a) When there is a dissolution of an eligible couple and each member of the couple becomes an eligible individual, the benefit amount for each person shall be determined individually for each month beginning with the first month after the month in which the dissolution occurs. This shall be done by determining the applicable benefit rate for an eligible individual with no eligible spouse according to §§ 416.410 or 416.413 and 416.414 and applying § 416.420(a). See § 416.1147a for the applicable income rules when in-kind support and maintenance is involved.

(b) When two eligible individuals become an eligible couple, the benefit amount will be determined for the couple beginning with the first month following the month of the change. This shall be done by determining which benefit rate to use for an eligible couple according to §§ 416.412 or 416.413 and 416.414 and applying the requirements in § 416.420(a).

[60 FR 16375, Mar. 30, 1995]

§ 416.435 Change in status involving a couple; ineligibility occurs.

Whenever benefits are suspended or terminated for both members of a couple because of ineligibility, no benefits are payable for that month. However, when benefits are suspended or terminated for one member of a couple because of ineligibility for a month, the member who remains eligible assumes the eligibility status of an eligible individual without an eligible spouse for such month and the benefit rate and payment amount will be determined as an eligible individual for the month.

[50 FR 48572, Nov. 26, 1985]

Subpart E - Payment of Benefits, Overpayments, and Underpayments
Authority:

Secs. 702(a)(5), 1147, 1601, 1602, 1611(c) and (e), and 1631(a)-(d) and (g) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 902(a)(5), 1320b-17, 1381, 1381a, 1382(c) and (e), and 1383(a)-(d) and (g)); 31 U.S.C. 3716; 31 U.S.C. 3720A.

§ 416.501 Payment of benefits: General.

Payment of SSI benefits will be made for the month after the month of initial eligibility and for each subsequent month provided all requirements for eligibility (see § 416.202) and payment (see § 416.420) are met. In the month the individual re-establishes eligibility after at least a month of ineligibility, benefits are paid for such a month beginning with the date in the month on which the individual meets all eligibility requirements. In some months, while the factors of eligibility based on the current month may be established, it is possible to receive no payment for that month if the factors of eligibility for payment are not met. Payment of benefits may not be made for any period that precedes the first month following the date on which an application is filed or, if later, the first month following the date all conditions for eligibility are met.

[64 FR 31973, June 15, 1999]

§ 416.502 Manner of payment.

For the month an individual reestablishes eligibility after a month of ineligibility, an SSI payment will be made on or after the day of the month on which the individual becomes reeligible to receive benefits. In all other months, a payment will be made on the first day of each month and represents payment for that month. If the first day of the month falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, payments will be made on the first day preceding such day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. Unless otherwise indicated, the monthly amount for an eligible couple will be divided equally and paid separately to each individual. Section 416.520 explains emergency advance payments.

[55 FR 4422, Feb. 8, 1990, as amended at 64 FR 31974, June 15, 1999]

§ 416.503 Minimum monthly benefit amount.

If you receive an SSI benefit that does not include a State supplement the minimum monthly SSI benefit amount payable is $1. When an SSI benefit amount of less than $1 is payable, the benefit amount will be increased to $1. If you receive an SSI benefit that does include a State supplement and the SSI benefit amount is less than $1 but when added to the State supplement exceeds $1, the SSI benefit amount will not be increased to $1. Rather, we pay the actual amount of the SSI benefit plus the State supplement.

[50 FR 48572, Nov. 26, 1985]

§ 416.520 Emergency advance payments.

(a) General. We may pay a one-time emergency advance payment to an individual initially applying for benefits who is presumptively eligible for SSI benefits and who has a financial emergency. The amount of this payment cannot exceed the Federal benefit rate (see §§ 416.410 through 416.414) plus the federally administered State supplementary payment, if any (see § 416.2020), which apply for the month for which the payment is made. Emergency advance payment is defined in paragraph (b)(1) of this section. The actual payment amount is computed as explained in paragraph (c) of this section. An emergency advance payment is an advance of benefits expected to be due that is recoverable as explained in paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section.

(b) Definition of terms. For purposes of this subpart -

(1) Emergency advance payment means a direct, expedited payment by a Social Security Administration field office to an individual or spouse who is initially applying (see paragraph (b)(3) of this section), who is at least presumptively eligible (see paragraph (b)(4) of this section), and who has a financial emergency (see paragraph (b)(2) of this section).

(2) Financial emergency is the financial status of an individual who has insufficient income or resources to meet an immediate threat to health or safety, such as the lack of food, clothing, shelter, or medical care.

(3) Initially applying means the filing of an application (see § 416.310) which requires an initial determination of eligibility, such as the first application for SSI benefits or an application filed subsequent to a prior denial or termination of a prior period of eligibility for payment. An individual or spouse who previously received an emergency advance payment in a prior period of eligibility which terminated may again receive such a payment if he or she reapplies for SSI and meets the other conditions for an emergency advance payment under this section.

(4) Presumptively eligible is the status of an individual or spouse who presents strong evidence of the likelihood of meeting all of the requirements for eligibility including the income and resources tests of eligibility (see subparts K and L of this part), categorical eligibility (age, disability, or blindness), and technical eligibility (United States residency and citizenship or alien status - see subpart P of this part).

(c) Computation of payment amount. To compute the emergency advance payment amount, the maximum amount described in paragraph (a) of this section is compared to both the expected amount payable for the month for which the payment is made (see paragraph (c)(1) of this section) and the amount the applicant requested to meet the emergency. The actual payment amount is no more than the least of these three amounts.

(1) In computing the emergency advance payment amount, we apply the monthly income counting rules appropriate for the month for which the advance is paid, as explained in § 416.420. Generally, the month for which the advance is paid is the month in which it is paid. However, if the advance is paid in the month the application is filed, the month for which the advance is paid is considered to be the first month of expected eligibility for payment of benefits.

(2) For a couple, we separately compute each member's emergency advance payment amount.

(d) Recovery of emergency advance payment where eligibility is established. When an individual or spouse is determined to be eligible and retroactive payments are due, any emergency advance payment amounts are recovered in full from the first payment(s) certified to the United States Treasury. However, if no retroactive payments are due and benefits are only due in future months, any emergency advance payment amounts are recovered through proportionate reductions in those benefits over a period of not more than 6 months. (See paragraph (e) of this section if the individual or spouse is determined to be ineligible.)

(e) Disposition of emergency advance payments where eligibility is not established. If a presumptively eligible individual (or spouse) or couple is determined to be ineligible, the emergency advance payment constitutes a recoverable overpayment. (See the exception in § 416.537(b)(1) when payment is made on the basis of presumptive disability or presumptive blindness.)

[55 FR 4422, Feb. 8, 1990; 55 FR 7411, Mar. 1, 1990, as amended at 64 FR 31974, June 15, 1999]

§ 416.525 Reimbursement to States for interim assistance payments.

Notwithstanding § 416.542, the Social Security Administration may, in accordance with the provisions of subpart S of this part, withhold supplemental security income benefits due with respect to an individual and may pay to a State (or political subdivision thereof, if agreed to by the Social Security Administration and the State) from the benefits withheld, an amount sufficient to reimburse the State (or political subdivision) for interim assistance furnished on behalf of the individual.

[41 FR 20872, May 21, 1976]

§ 416.532 Method of payment when the essential person resides with more than one eligible person.

(a) When an essential person lives with an eligible individual and an eligible spouse, the State may report that the person is essential to one or both members of the couple. In either event, the income and resources of the essential person will be considered to be available to the family unit. The payment increment attributable to the essential person will be added to the rate of payment for the couple, the countable income subtracted, and the resulting total benefit divided equally between the eligible individual and the eligible spouse.

(b) Where the essential person lives with two eligible individuals (as opposed to an eligible individual and eligible spouse), one of whom has been designated the qualified individual, the income and resources of the essential person will be considered to be available only to the qualified individual (as defined in § 416.221) and any increase in payment will be made to such qualified individual.

(c) In those instances where the State has designated the essential person as essential to two or more eligible individuals so that both are qualified individuals, the payment increment attributable to the essential person must be shared equally, and the income and resources of the essential person divided and counted equally against each qualified individual.

(d) When an essential person lives with an eligible individual and an eligible spouse (or two or more eligible individuals) only one of whom is the qualified individual, essential person status is not automatically retained upon the death of the qualified individual or upon the separation from the qualified individual. A review of the State records established on or before December 31, 1973, will provide the basis for a determination as to whether the remaining eligible individual or eligible spouse meets the definition of qualified individual. Payment in consideration of the essential person will be dependent on whether the essential person continues to live with a qualified individual. If the essential person does reside with a qualified individual, status as an essential person is retained.

[39 FR 33796, Sept. 20, 1974, as amended at 50 FR 48572, Nov. 26, 1985; 51 FR 10616, Mar. 28, 1986; 60 FR 16375, Mar. 30, 1995]

§ 416.533 Transfer or assignment of benefits.

Except as provided in § 416.525 and subpart S of this part, the Social Security Administration will not certify payment of supplemental security income benefits to a transferee or assignee of a person eligible for such benefits under the Act or of a person qualified for payment under § 416.542. The Social Security Administration shall not certify payment of supplemental security income benefits to any person claiming such payment by virtue of an execution, levy, attachment, garnishment, or other legal process or by virtue of any bankruptcy or insolvency proceeding against or affecting the person eligible for benefits under the Act.

[41 FR 20873, May 21, 1976, as amended at 58 FR 52912, Oct. 13, 1993]

§ 416.534 Garnishment of payments after disbursement.

(a) Payments that are covered by section 1631(d)(1) of the Social Security Act and made by direct deposit are subject to 31 CFR part 212, Garnishment of Accounts Containing Federal Benefit Payments.

(b) This section may be amended only by a rulemaking issued jointly by the Department of Treasury and the agencies defined as a “benefit agency” in 31 CFR 212.3.

[76 FR 9961, Feb. 23, 2011]

§ 416.535 Underpayments and overpayments.

(a) General. When an individual receives SSI benefits of less than the correct amount, adjustment is effected as described in §§ 416.542 and 416.543, and the additional rules in § 416.545 may apply. When an individual receives more than the correct amount of SSI benefits, adjustment is effected as described in § 416.570. Refund of overpayments is discussed in § 416.560 and waiver of recovery of overpayments is discussed in §§ 416.550 through 416.555.

(b) Additional rules for individuals whose drug addiction or alcoholism is a contributing factor material to the determination of disability. When an individual whose drug addiction or alcoholism is a contributing factor material to the determination of disability, as described in § 416.935, receives less than the correct amount of SSI benefits, adjustment is effected as described in §§ 416.542 and 416.543 and the additional rule described in § 416.544 applies.

(c) Additional rules for eligible individuals under age 18 who have a representative payee. When an eligible individual under age 18 has a representative payee and receives less than the correct amount of SSI benefits, the additional rules in § 416.546 may apply.

(d) Additional rules for eligible aliens and for their sponsors. When an individual who is an alien is overpaid SSI benefits during the 3-year period in which deeming from a sponsor applies (see § 416.1160(a)(3)), the sponsor and the alien may be jointly and individually liable for repayment of the overpayment. The sponsor is liable for the overpayment if he or she failed to report correct information that affected the alien's eligibility or payment amount. This means information about the income and resources of the sponsor and, if they live together, of the sponsor's spouse. However, the sponsor is not liable for repayment if the sponsor was without fault or had good cause for failing to report correctly. A special rule that applies to adjustment of other benefits due the alien and the sponsor to recover an overpayment is described in § 416.570(b).

(e) Sponsor without fault or good cause exists for failure to report. Without fault or good cause will be found to exist if the failure to report was not willful. To establish willful failure, the evidence must show that the sponsor knowingly failed to supply pertinent information regarding his or her income and resources.

[52 FR 8881, Mar. 20, 1987, as amended at 60 FR 8149, Feb. 10, 1995; 61 FR 67205, Dec. 20, 1996]

§ 416.536 Underpayments - defined.

An underpayment can occur only with respect to a period for which a recipient filed an application, if required, for benefits and met all conditions of eligibility for benefits. An underpayment, including any amounts of State supplementary payments which are due and administered by the Social Security Administration, is:

(a) Nonpayment, where payment was due but was not made; or

(b) Payment of less than the amount due. For purposes of this section, payment has been made when certified by the Social Security Administration to the Department of the Treasury, except that payment has not been made where payment has not been received by the designated payee, or where payment was returned.

[58 FR 52912, Oct. 13, 1993]

§ 416.537 Overpayments - defined.

(a) Overpayments. As used in this subpart, the term overpayment means payment of more than the amount due for any period, including any amounts of State supplementary payments which are due and administered by the Social Security Administration. For purposes of this section, payment has been made when certified by the Social Security Administration to the Department of the Treasury, except that payment has not been made where payment has not been received by the designated payee, or where payment was returned. When a payment of more than the amount due is made by direct deposit to a financial institution to or on behalf of an individual who has died, and the financial institution credits the payment to a joint account of the deceased individual and another person who is the surviving spouse of the deceased individual and was eligible for a payment under title XVI of the Act (including any State supplementation payment paid by the Commissioner) as an eligible spouse (or as either member of an eligible couple) for the month in which the deceased individual died, the amount of the payment in excess of the correct amount will be an overpayment to the surviving spouse.

(b) Actions which are not overpayments -

(1) Presumptive disability and presumptive blindness. Any payment made for any month, including an advance payment of benefits under § 416.520, is not an overpayment to the extent it meets the criteria for payment under § 416.931. Payments made on the basis of presumptive disability or presumptive blindness will not be considered overpayments where ineligibility is determined because the individual or eligible spouse is not disabled or blind. However, where it is determined that all or a portion of the presumptive payments made are incorrect for reasons other than disability or blindness, these incorrect payments are considered overpayments (as defined in paragraph (a) of this section). Overpayments may occur, for example, when the person who received payments on the basis of presumptive disability or presumptive blindness is determined to be ineligible for all or any part of the payments because of excess resources or is determined to have received excess payment for those months based on an incorrect estimate of income.

(2) Penalty. The imposition of a penalty pursuant to § 416.724 is not an adjustment of an overpayment and is imposed only against any amount due the penalized recipient, or, after death, any amount due the deceased which otherwise would be paid to a survivor as defined in § 416.542.

(c) Pandemic period. As used throughout this subpart, the term pandemic period for the purposes of the waiver authority in § 416.550 refers exclusively to the period of time beginning on March 1, 2020, and ending on September 30, 2020.

[40 FR 47763, Oct. 10, 1975, as amended at 43 FR 17354, Apr. 24, 1978; 50 FR 48572, Nov. 26, 1985; 55 FR 7313, Mar. 1, 1990; 58 FR 52912, Oct. 13, 1993; 62 FR 38454, July 18, 1997; 85 FR 52915, Aug. 27, 2020]

§ 416.538 Amount of underpayment or overpayment.

(a) General. The amount of an underpayment or overpayment is the difference between the amount paid to a recipient and the amount of payment actually due such recipient for a given period. An underpayment or overpayment period begins with the first month for which there is a difference between the amount paid and the amount actually due for that month. The period ends with the month the initial determination of overpayment or underpayment is made. With respect to the period established, there can be no underpayment to a recipient or his or her eligible spouse if more than the correct amount payable under title XVI of the Act has been paid, whether or not adjustment or recovery of any overpayment for that period to the recipient or his or her eligible spouse has been waived under the provisions of §§ 416.550 through 416.556. A subsequent initial determination of overpayment will require no change with respect to a prior determination of overpayment or to the period relating to such determination to the extent that the basis of the prior overpayment remains the same.

(b) Limited delay in payment of underpaid amount to recipient or eligible surviving spouse. Where an apparent overpayment has been detected but determination of the overpayment has not been made (see § 416.558(a)), a determination of an underpayment and payment of an underpaid amount which is otherwise due cannot be delayed to a recipient or eligible surviving spouse unless a determination with respect to the apparent overpayment can be made before the close of the month following the month in which the underpaid amount was discovered.

(c) Delay in payment of underpaid amount to ineligible individual or survivor. A determination of an underpayment and payment of an underpaid amount which is otherwise due an individual who is no longer eligible for SSI or is payable to a survivor pursuant to § 416.542(b) will be delayed for the resolution of all overpayments, incorrect payments, adjustments, and penalties.

(d) Limited delay in payment of underpaid amount to eligible individual under age 18 who has a representative payee. When the representative payee of an eligible individual under age 18 is required to establish a dedicated account pursuant to §§ 416.546 and 416.640(e), payment of past-due benefits which are otherwise due will be delayed until the representative payee has established the dedicated account as described in § 416.640(e). Once the account is established, SSA will deposit the past-due benefits payable directly to the account.

(e) Reduction of underpaid amount. Any underpayment amount otherwise payable to a survivor on account of a deceased recipient is reduced by the amount of any outstanding penalty imposed against the benefits payable to such deceased recipient or survivor under section 1631(e) of the Act (see § 416.537(b)(2)).

[58 FR 52912, Oct. 13, 1993, as amended at 61 FR 67205, Dec. 20, 1996]

§ 416.542 Underpayments - to whom underpaid amount is payable.

(a) Underpaid recipient alive - underpayment payable.

(1) If an underpaid recipient is alive, the amount of any underpayment due him or her will be paid to him or her in a separate payment or by increasing the amount of his or her monthly payment. If the underpaid amount meets the formula in § 416.545 and one of the exceptions does not apply, the amount of any past-due benefits will be paid in installments.

(2) If an underpaid recipient whose drug addiction or alcoholism is a contributing factor material to the determination of disability (as described in § 416.935) is alive, the amount of any underpayment due the recipient will be paid through his or her representative payee in installment payments. No underpayment may be paid directly to the recipient. If the recipient dies before we have paid all benefits due through his or her representative payee, we will follow the rules which apply to underpayments for the payment of any remaining amounts due to any eligible survivor of a deceased recipient as described in paragraph (b) of this section.

(3) If an underpaid individual under age 18 is alive and has a representative payee and is due past-due benefits which meet the formula in § 416.546, SSA will pay the past-due benefits into the dedicated account described in § 416.640(e). If the underpaid individual dies before the benefits have been deposited into the account, we will follow the rules which apply to underpayments for the payment of any unpaid amount due to any eligible survivor of a deceased individual as described in paragraph (b) of this section.

(b) Underpaid recipient deceased - underpaid amount payable to survivor.

(1) If a recipient dies before we have paid all benefits due or before the recipient endorses the check for the correct payment, we may pay the amount due to the deceased recipient's surviving eligible spouse or to his or her surviving spouse who was living with the underpaid recipient within the meaning of section 202(i) of the Act (see § 404.347) in the month he or she died or within 6 months immediately preceding the month of death.

(2) If the deceased underpaid recipient was a disabled or blind child when the underpayment occurred, the underpaid amount may be paid to the natural or adoptive parent(s) of the underpaid recipient who lived with the underpaid recipient in the month he or she died or within the 6 months preceding death. We consider the underpaid recipient to have been living with the natural or adoptive parent(s) in the period if the underpaid recipient satisfies the “living with” criteria we use when applying § 416.1165 or would have satisfied the criteria had his or her death not precluded the application of such criteria throughout a month.

(3) If the deceased individual was living with his or her spouse within the meaning of section 202(i) of the Act in the month of death or within 6 months immediately preceding the month of death, and was also living with his or her natural or adoptive parent(s) in the month of death or within 6 months preceding the month of death, we will pay the parent(s) any SSI underpayment due the deceased individual for months he or she was a blind or disabled child and we will pay the spouse any SSI underpayment due the deceased individual for months he or she no longer met the definition of “child” as set forth at § 416.1856. If no parent(s) can be paid in such cases due to death or other reason, then we will pay the SSI underpayment due the deceased individual for months he or she was a blind or disabled child to the spouse.

(4) No benefits may be paid to the estate of any underpaid recipient, the estate of the surviving spouse, the estate of a parent, or to any survivor other than those listed in paragraph (b) (1) through (3) of this section. Payment of an underpaid amount to an ineligible spouse or surviving parent(s) may only be made for benefits payable for months after May 1986. Payment to surviving parent(s) may be made only for months of eligibility during which the deceased underpaid recipient was a child. We will not pay benefits to a survivor other than the eligible spouse who requests payment of an underpaid amount more than 24 months after the month of the individual's death.

(c) Underpaid recipient's death caused by an intentional act. No benefits due the deceased individual may be paid to a survivor found guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction of intentionally causing the underpaid recipient's death.

[40 FR 47763, Oct. 10, 1975, as amended at 58 FR 52913, Oct. 13, 1993; 60 FR 8149, Feb. 10, 1995; 61 FR 67206, Dec. 20, 1996]

§ 416.543 Underpayments - applied to reduce overpayments.

We apply any underpayment due an individual to reduce any overpayment to that individual that we determine to exist (see § 416.558) for a different period, unless we have waived recovery of the overpayment under the provisions of §§ 416.550 through 416.556. Similarly, when an underpaid recipient dies, we first apply any amounts due the deceased recipient that would be payable to a survivor under § 416.542(b) against any overpayment to the survivor unless we have waived recovery of such overpayment under the provisions of §§ 416.550 through 416.556.

Example:

A disabled child, eligible for payments under title XVI, and his parent, also an eligible individual receiving payments under title XVI, were living together. The disabled child dies at a time when he was underpaid $100. The deceased child's underpaid benefit is payable to the surviving parent. However, since the parent must repay an SSI overpayment of $225 on his own record, the $100 underpayment will be applied to reduce the parent's own overpayment to $125.

[58 FR 52913, Oct. 13, 1993]

§ 416.544 Paying benefits in installments: Drug addiction or alcoholism.

(a) General. For disabled recipients who receive benefit payments through a representative payee because drug addiction or alcoholism is a contributing factor material to the determination of disability, certain amounts due the recipient for a past period will be paid in installments. The amounts subject to payment in installments include:

(1) Benefits due but unpaid which accrued prior to the month payment was effectuated;

(2) Benefits due but unpaid which accrued during a period of suspension for which the recipient was subsequently determined to have been eligible; and

(3) Any adjustment to benefits which results in an accrual of unpaid benefits.

(b) Installment formula. Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, the amount of the installment payment in any month is limited so that the sum of

(1) the amount due for a past period (and payable under paragraph (a) of this section) paid in such month and

(2) the amount of any current benefit due cannot exceed twice the Federal Benefit Rate plus any federally-administered State supplementation payable to an eligible individual for the preceding month.

(c) Exception to installment limitation. An exception to the installment payment limitation in paragraph (b) of this section can be granted for the first month in which a recipient accrues benefit amounts subject to payment in installments if the recipient has unpaid housing expenses which result in a high risk of homelessness for the recipient. In that case, the benefit payment may be increased by the amount of the unpaid housing expenses so long as that increase does not exceed the amount of benefits which accrued during the most recent period of nonpayment. We consider a person to be at risk of homelessness if continued nonpayment of the outstanding housing expenses is likely to result in the person losing his or her place to live or if past nonpayment of housing expenses has resulted in the person having no appropriate personal place to live. In determining whether this exception applies, we will ask for evidence of outstanding housing expenses that shows that the person is likely to lose or has already lost his or her place to live. For purposes of this section, homelessness is the state of not being under the control of any public institution and having no appropriate personal place to live. Housing expenses include charges for all items required to maintain shelter (for example, mortgage payments, rent, heating fuel, and electricity).

(d) Payment through a representative payee. If the recipient does not have a representative payee, payment of amounts subject to installments cannot be made until a representative payee is selected.

(e) Underpaid recipient no longer eligible. In the case of a recipient who is no longer currently eligible for monthly payments, but to whom amounts defined in paragraph (a) of this section are still owing, we will continue to make installment payments of such benefits through a representative payee.

(f) Recipient currently not receiving SSI benefits because of suspension for noncompliance with treatment. If a recipient is currently not receiving SSI benefits because his or her benefits have been suspended for noncompliance with treatment (as defined in § 416.936), the payment of amounts under paragraph (a) of this section will stop until the recipient has demonstrated compliance with treatment as described in § 416.1326 and will again commence with the first month the recipient begins to receive benefits.

(g) Underpaid recipient deceased. Upon the death of a recipient, any remaining unpaid amounts as defined in paragraph (a) of this section will be treated as underpayments in accordance with § 416.542(b).

[60 FR 8150, Feb. 10, 1995]

§ 416.545 Paying large past-due benefits in installments.

(a) General. Except as described in paragraph (c) of this section, when an individual is eligible for past-due benefits in an amount which meets the formula in paragraph (b) of this section, payment of these benefits must be made in installments. If an individual becomes eligible for past-due benefits for a different period while installments are being made, we will notify the individual of the amount due and issue these benefits in the last installment payment. The amounts subject to payment in installments include:

(1) Benefits due but unpaid which accrued prior to the month payment was effectuated;

(2) Benefits due but unpaid which accrued during a period of suspension for which the recipient was subsequently determined to have been eligible; and

(3) Any adjustment to benefits which results in an accrual of unpaid benefits.

(b) Installment formula. Installment payments must be made if the amount of the past-due benefits, including any federally administered State supplementation, after applying § 416.525 (reimbursement to States for interim assistance) and applying § 416.1520 (payment of attorney fees), equals or exceeds 3 times the Federal Benefit Rate plus any federally administered State supplementation payable in a month to an eligible individual (or eligible individual and eligible spouse). These installment payments will be paid in not more than 3 installments and made at 6-month intervals. Except as described in paragraph (d) of this section, the amount of each of the first and second installment payments may not exceed the threshold amount of 3 times the maximum monthly benefit payable as described in this paragraph.

(c) Exception - When installments payments are not required. Installment payments are not required and the rules in this section do not apply if, when the determination of an underpayment is made, the individual is

(1) afflicted with a medically determinable impairment which is expected to result in death within 12 months, or

(2) ineligible for benefits and we determine that he or she is likely to remain ineligible for the next 12 months.

(d) Exception - Increased first and second installment payments.

(1) The amount of the first and second installment payments may be increased by the total amount of the following debts and expenses:

(i) Outstanding debt for food, clothing, shelter, or medically necessary services, supplies or equipment, or medicine; or

(ii) Current or anticipated expenses in the near future for medically necessary services, supplies or equipment, or medicine, or for the purchase of a home.

(2) The increase described in paragraph (d)(1) of this section only applies to debts or expenses that are not subject to reimbursement by a public assistance program, the Secretary of Health and Human Services under title XVIII of the Act, a State plan approved under title XIX of the Act, or any private entity that is legally liable for payment in accordance with an insurance policy, pre-paid plan, or other arrangement.

[61 FR 67206, Dec. 20, 1996, as amended at 76 FR 453, Jan. 5, 2011; 79 FR 33685, June 12, 2014]

§ 416.546 Payment into dedicated accounts of past-due benefits for eligible individuals under age 18 who have a representative payee.

For purposes of this section, amounts subject to payment into dedicated accounts (see § 416.640(e)) include the amounts described in § 416.545(a) (1), (2), and (3).

(a) For an eligible individual under age 18 who has a representative payee and who is determined to be eligible for past-due benefits (including any federally administered State supplementation) in an amount which, after applying § 416.525 (reimbursement to States for interim assistance) and § 416.1520 (payment of attorney fee), exceeds six times the Federal Benefit Rate plus any federally administered State supplementation payable in a month, this unpaid amount must be paid into the dedicated account established and maintained as described in § 416.640(e).

(b) After the account is established, the representative payee may (but is not required to) deposit into the account any subsequent funds representing past-due benefits under this title to the individual which are equal to or exceed the maximum Federal Benefit Rate (including any federally administered State supplementation).

(c) If the underpaid individual dies before all the benefits due have been deposited into the dedicated account, we will follow the rules which apply to underpayments for the payment of any unpaid amount due to any eligible survivor as described in § 416.542(b).

[61 FR 67206, Dec. 20, 1996, as amended at 76 FR 453, Jan. 5, 2011]

§ 416.550 Waiver of adjustment or recovery - when applicable.

Waiver of adjustment or recovery of an overpayment of SSI benefits may be granted when (EXCEPTION: This section does not apply to a sponsor of an alien):

(a) The overpaid individual was without fault in connection with an overpayment, and

(b) Adjustment or recovery of such overpayment would either:

(1) Defeat the purpose of title XVI, or

(2) Be against equity and good conscience, or

(3) Impede efficient or effective administration of title XVI due to the small amount involved.

(c) We will apply the procedures in this paragraph (c) when an individual requests waiver of all or part of a qualifying overpayment.

(1) For purposes of this paragraph (c), a qualifying overpayment is one that accrued during the pandemic period (see § 416.537(c)) because of the actions that we took in response to the COVID-19 national public health emergency, including the suspension of certain of our manual workloads that would have processed actions identifying and stopping certain overpayments.

(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subpart, we will presume that an individual who requests waiver of a qualifying overpayment is without fault in causing the overpayment (see § 416.552) unless we determine that the qualifying overpayment made to a beneficiary or a representative payee was the result of fraud or similar fault or involved misuse of benefits by a representative payee (see § 416.641).

(3) If we determine under paragraph (c)(2) of this section that an individual or a representative payee is without fault in causing a qualifying overpayment, we will also determine that recovery of the qualifying overpayment would be against equity and good conscience. For purposes of this paragraph (c)(3) only, “against equity and good conscience” is not limited to the meaning used in § 416.554 but means a broad concept of fairness that takes into account all of the facts and circumstances of the case.

(4) The provisions of this paragraph (c)(4) will apply to a qualifying overpayment identified by December 31, 2020.

[52 FR 8882, Mar. 20, 1987, as amended at 53 FR 16543, May 10, 1988; 85 FR 52915, Aug. 27, 2020]

§ 416.551 Waiver of adjustment or recovery - effect of.

Waiver of adjustment or recovery of an overpayment from the overpaid person himself (or, after his death, from his estate) frees him and his eligible spouse from the obligation to repay the amount of the overpayment covered by the waiver. Waiver of adjustment or recovery of an overpayment from anyone other than the overpaid person himself or his estate (e.g., a surviving eligible spouse) does not preclude adjustment or recovery against the overpaid person or his estate.

Example:

The recipient was overpaid $390. It was found that the overpaid recipient was eligible for waiver of adjustment or recovery of $260 of that amount, and such action was taken. Only $130 of the overpayment remained to be recovered by adjustment, refund, or the like.

[40 FR 47763, Oct. 10, 1975]

§ 416.552 Waiver of adjustment or recovery - without fault.

Without fault relates only to the situation of the individual seeking relief from adjustment or recovery of an overpayment. The overpaid individual (and any other individual from whom the Social Security Administration seeks to recover the overpayment) is not relieved of liability and is not without fault solely because the Social Security Administration may have been at fault in making the overpayment. Notwithstanding any other provision of this subpart, we will not determine any overpaid individual to be at fault in causing a qualifying overpayment (see § 416.550(c)(1)) unless we determine that the qualifying overpayment made to an individual or a representative payee during the pandemic period (see § 416.537(c)) was the result of fraud or similar fault or involved misuse of benefits by a representative payee (see § 416.641). In determining whether an individual is without fault, the fault of the overpaid person and the fault of the individual seeking relief under the waiver provision are considered. Whether an individual is without fault depends on all the pertinent circumstances surrounding the overpayment in the particular case. The Social Security Administration considers the individual's understanding of the reporting requirements, the agreement to report events affecting payments, knowledge of the occurrence of events that should have been reported, efforts to comply with the reporting requirements, opportunities to comply with the reporting requirements, understanding of the obligation to return checks which were not due, and ability to comply with the reporting requirements (e.g., age, comprehension, memory, physical and mental condition). In determining whether an individual is without fault based on a consideration of these factors, the Social Security Administration will take into account any physical, mental, educational, or linguistic limitations (including any lack of facility with the English language) the individual may have. Although the finding depends on all of the circumstances in the particular case, an individual will be found to have been at fault in connection with an overpayment when an incorrect payment resulted from one of the following:

(a) Failure to furnish information which the individual knew or should have known was material;

(b) An incorrect statement made by the individual which he knew or should have known was incorrect (this includes the individual's furnishing his opinion or conclusion when he was asked for facts), or

(c) The individual did not return a payment which he knew or could have been expected to know was incorrect.

[40 FR 47763, Oct. 10, 1975, as amended at 59 FR 1636, Jan. 12, 1994; 85 FR 52915, Aug. 27, 2020]

§ 416.553 Waiver of adjustment or recovery - defeat the purpose of the supplemental security income program.

We will waive adjustment or recovery of an overpayment when an individual on whose behalf waiver is being considered is without fault (as defined in § 416.552) and adjustment or recovery of the overpayment would defeat the purpose of the supplemental security income program.

(a) General rule. We consider adjustment or recovery of an overpayment to defeat the purpose of the supplemental security income (SSI) program if the individual's income and resources are needed for ordinary and necessary living expenses under the criteria set out in § 404.508(a) of this chapter

(b) Alternative criteria for individuals currently eligible for SSI benefits. We consider an individual or couple currently eligible for SSI benefits to have met the test in paragraph (a) of this section if the individual's or couple's current monthly income (that is, the income upon which the individual's or couple's eligibility for the current month is determined) does not exceed -

(1) The applicable Federal monthly benefit rate for the month in which the determination of waiver is made (see subpart D of this part); plus

(2) The $20 monthly general income exclusion described in §§ 416.1112(c)(3) and 416.1124(c)(10); plus

(3) The monthly earned income exclusion described in § 416.1112(c)(4); plus

(4) The applicable State supplementary payment, if any (see subpart T of this part) for the month in which determination of waiver is made.

For those SSI recipients whose income exceeds these criteria, we follow the general rule in paragraph (a) of this section.

[45 FR 72649, Nov. 3, 1980, as amended at 50 FR 48573, Nov. 26, 1985]

§ 416.554 Waiver of adjustment or recovery - against equity and good conscience.

We will waive adjustment or recovery of an overpayment when an individual on whose behalf waiver is being considered is without fault (as defined in § 416.552) and adjustment or recovery would be against equity and good conscience. Adjustment or recovery is considered to be against equity and good conscience if an individual changed his or her position for the worse or relinquished a valuable right because of reliance upon a notice that payment would be made or because of the incorrect payment itself. In addition, adjustment or recovery is considered to be against equity and good conscience for an individual who is a member of an eligible couple that is legally separated and/or living apart for that part of an overpayment not received, but subject to recovery under § 416.570.

Example 1:

Upon being notified that he was eligible for supplemental security income payments, an individual signed a lease on an apartment renting for $15 a month more than the room he had previously occupied. It was subsequently found that eligibility for the payment should not have been established. In such a case, recovery would be considered “against equity and good conscience.”

Example 2:

An individual fails to take advantage of a private or organization charity, relying instead on the award of supplemental security income payments to support himself. It was subsequently found that the money was improperly paid. Recovery would be considered “against equity and good conscience.”

Example 3:

Mr. and Mrs. Smith - members of an eligible couple - separate in July. Later in July, Mr. Smith receives earned income resulting in an overpayment to both. Mrs. Smith is found to be without fault in causing the overpayment. Recovery from Mrs. Smith of Mr. Smith's part of the couple's overpayment is waived as being against equity and good conscience. Whether recovery of Mr. Smith's portion of the couple's overpayment can be waived will be evaluated separately.

[60 FR 16375, Mar. 30, 1995]

§ 416.555 Waiver of adjustment or recovery - impede administration.

Waiver of adjustment or recovery is proper when the overpaid person on whose behalf waiver is being considered is without fault, as defined in § 416.552, and adjustment or recovery would impede efficient or effective administration of title XVI due to the small amount involved. The amount of overpayment determined to meet such criteria is measured by the current average administrative cost of handling such overpayment case through such adjustment or recovery processes. In determining whether the criterion is met, the overpaid person's financial circumstances are not considered.

[40 FR 47764, Oct. 10, 1975]

§ 416.556 Waiver of adjustment or recovery - countable resources in excess of the limits prescribed in § 416.1205 by $50 or less.

(a) If any overpayment with respect to an individual (or an individual and his or her spouse if any) is attributable solely to the ownership or possession by the individual (and spouse if any) of countable resources having a value which exceeds the applicable dollar figure specified in § 416.1205 by an amount of $50.00 or less, including those resources deemed to an individual in accordance with § 416.1202, such individual (and spouse if any) shall be deemed to have been without fault in connection with the overpayment, and waiver of adjustment or recovery will be made, unless the failure to report the value of the excess resources correctly and in a timely manner was willful and knowing.

(b) Failure to report the excess resources correctly and in a timely manner will be considered to be willful and knowing and the individual will be found to be at fault when the evidence clearly shows the individual (and spouse if any) was fully aware of the requirements of the law and of the excess resources and chose to conceal these resources. When an individual incurred a similar overpayment in the past and received an explanation and instructions at the time of the previous overpayment, we will generally find the individual to be at fault. However, in determining whether the individual is at fault, we will consider all aspects of the current and prior overpayment situations, and where we determine the individual is not at fault, we will waive adjustment or recovery of the subsequent overpayment. In making any determination or decision under this section concerning whether an individual is at fault, including a determination or decision of whether the failure to report the excess resources correctly and in a timely manner was willful and knowing, we will take into account any physical, mental, educational, or linguistic limitations (including any lack of facility with the English language) of the individual (and spouse if any).

[53 FR 16544, May 10, 1988, as amended at 59 FR 1636, Jan. 12, 1994]

§ 416.557 Personal conference.

(a) If waiver cannot be approved (i.e., the requirements in § 416.550 (a) and (b) are not met), the individual is notified in writing and given the dates, times and place of the file review and personal conference; the procedure for reviewing the claims file prior to the personal conference; the procedure for seeking a change in the scheduled date, time and/or place; and all other information necessary to fully inform the individual about the personal conference. The file review is always scheduled at least 5 days before the personal conference. We will offer to the individual the option of conducting the personal conference face-to-face at a place we designate, by telephone, or by video teleconference. The notice will advise the individual of the date and time of the personal conference.

(b) At the file review, the individual and the individual's representative have the right to review the claims file and applicable law and regulations with the decisionmaker or another of our representatives who is prepared to answer questions. We will provide copies of material related to the overpayment and/or waiver from the claims file or pertinent sections of the law or regulations that are requested by the individual or the individual's representative.

(c) At the personal conference, the individual is given the opportunity to:

(1) Appear personally, testify, cross-examine any witnesses, and make arguments;

(2) Be represented by an attorney or other representative (see § 416.1500), although the individual must be present at the conference; and

(3) Submit documents for consideration by the decisionmaker.

(d) At the personal conference, the decisionmaker:

(1) Tells the individual that the decisionmaker was not previously involved in the issue under review, that the waiver decision is solely the decisionmaker's, and that the waiver decision is based only on the evidence or information presented or reviewed at the conference;

(2) Ascertains the role and identity of everyone present;

(3) Indicates whether or not the individual reviewed the claims file;

(4) Explains the provisions of law and regulations applicable to the issue;

(5) Briefly summarizes the evidence already in file which will be considered;

(6) Ascertains from the individual whether the information presented is correct and whether he/she fully understands it;

(7) Allows the individual and the individual's representative, if any, to present the individual's case;

(8) Secures updated financial information and verification, if necessary;

(9) Allows each witness to present information and allows the individual and the individual's representative to question each witness;

(10) Ascertains whether there is any further evidence to be presented;

(11) Reminds the individual of any evidence promised by the individual which has not been presented;

(12) Lets the individual and the individual's representative, if any, present any proposed summary or closing statement;

(13) Explains that a decision will be made and the individual will be notified in writing; and

(14) Explains repayment options and further appeal rights in the event the decision is adverse to the individual.

(e) SSA issues a written decision to the individual (and his or her representative, if any) specifying the findings of fact and conclusions in support of the decision to approve or deny waiver and advising of the individual's right to appeal the decision. If waiver is denied, adjustment or recovery of the overpayment begins even if the individual appeals.

(f) If it appears that the waiver cannot be approved, and the individual declines a personal conference or fails to appear for a second scheduled personal conference, a decision regarding the waiver will be made based on the written evidence of record. Reconsideration is the next step in the appeals process.

[73 FR 1973, Jan. 11, 2008]

§ 416.558 Notice relating to overpayments and underpayments.

(a) Notice of overpayment and underpayment determination. Whenever a determination concerning the amount paid and payable for any period is made and it is found that, with respect to any month in the period, more or less than the correct amount was paid, written notice of the correct and incorrect amounts for each such month in the period will be sent to the individual against whom adjustment or recovery of the overpayment as defined in § 416.537(a) may be effected or to whom the underpayment as defined in §§ 416.536 and any amounts subject to installment payments as defined in § 416.544 would be payable, notwithstanding the fact that part or all of the underpayment must be withheld in accordance with § 416.543. When notifying an individual of a determination of overpayment, the Social Security Administration will, in the notice, also advise the individual that adjustment or recovery is required, as set forth in § 416.571, except under certain specified conditions, and of his or her right to request waiver of adjustment or recovery of the overpayment under the provisions of § 416.550.

(b) Notice of waiver determination. Written notice of an initial determination of waiver shall be given the individual in accordance with § 416.1404 unless the individual was not given notice of the overpayment in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) Notice relating to installment payments to individuals whose drug addiction or alcoholism is a contributing factor material to the determination of disability. Whenever a determination is made concerning the amount of any benefits due for a period that must be paid in installments, the written notice will also explain the amount of the installment payment and when an increased initial installment payment may be made (as described in § 416.544). This written notice will be sent to the individual and his or her representative payee.

[40 FR 47764, Oct. 10, 1975, as amended at 55 FR 33668, Aug. 17, 1990; 60 FR 8150, Feb. 10, 1995]

§ 416.560 Recovery - refund.

An overpayment may be refunded by the overpaid recipient or by anyone on his or her behalf. Refund should be made in every case where the overpaid individual is not currently eligible for SSI benefits. If the individual is currently eligible for SSI benefits and has not refunded the overpayment, adjustment as set forth in § 416.570 will be proposed.

[55 FR 33669, Aug. 17, 1990]

§ 416.570 Adjustment.

(a) General. When a recipient has been overpaid, the overpayment has not been refunded, and waiver of adjustment or recovery is not applicable, any payment due the overpaid recipient or his or her eligible spouse (or recovery from the estate of either or both when either or both die before adjustment is completed) is adjusted for recovery of the overpayment. Adjustment will generally be accomplished by withholding each month the amount set forth in § 416.571 from the benefit payable to the individual except that, when the overpayment results from the disposition of resources as provided by §§ 416.1240(b) and 416.1244, the overpayment will be recovered by withholding any payments due the overpaid recipient or his or her eligible spouse before any further payment is made. Absent a specific request from the person from whom recovery is sought, no overpayment made under title XVIII of the Act will be recovered by adjusting SSI benefits. In no case shall an overpayment of SSI benefits be adjusted against title XVIII benefits. No funds properly deposited into a dedicated account (see §§ 416.546 and 416.640(e)) can be used to repay an overpayment while the overpaid individual remains subject to the provisions of those sections.

(b) Overpayment made to representative payee after the recipient's death. A representative payee or his estate is solely liable for repaying an overpayment made to the representative payee on behalf of a recipient after the recipient's death. In such case, we will recover the overpayment according to paragraph (a) of this section, except that:

(1) We will not adjust any other payment due to the eligible spouse of the overpaid representative payee to recover the overpayment, and

(2) If the overpaid representative payee dies before we complete adjustment, we will not seek to recover the overpayment from the eligible spouse or the estate of the eligible spouse.

[70 FR 16, Jan. 3, 2005, as amended at 73 FR 65543, Nov. 4, 2008]

§ 416.571 10-percent limitation of recoupment rate - overpayment.

Any adjustment or recovery of an overpayment for an individual in current payment status is limited in amount in any month to the lesser of (1) the amount of the individual's benefit payment for that month or (2) an amount equal to 10 percent of the individual's total income (countable income plus SSI and State supplementary payments) for that month. The countable income used is the countable income used in determining the SSI and State supplementary payments for that month under § 416.420. When the overpaid individual is notified of the proposed SSI and/or federally administered State supplementary overpayment adjustment or recovery, the individual will be given the opportunity to request that such adjustment or recovery be made at a higher or lower rate than that proposed. If a lower rate is requested, a rate of withholding that is appropriate to the financial condition of the overpaid individual will be set after an evaluation of all the pertinent facts. An appropriate rate is one that will not deprive the individual of income required for ordinary and necessary living expenses. This will include an evaluation of the individual's income, resources, and other financial obligations. The 10-percent limitation does not apply where it is determined that the overpayment occurred because of fraud, willful misrepresentation, or concealment of material information committed by the individual or his or her spouse. Concealment of material information means an intentional, knowing, and purposeful delay in making or failure to make a report that will affect payment amount and/or eligibility. It does not include a mere omission on the part of the recipient; it is an affirmative act to conceal. The 10-percent limitation does not apply to the recovery of overpayments incurred under agreements to dispose of resources pursuant to § 416.1240. In addition, the 10-percent limitation does not apply to the reduction of any future SSI benefits as a consequence of the misuse of funds set aside in accordance with § 416.1231(b) to meet burial expenses. Adjustment or recovery will be suspended if the recipient is subject to a reduced benefit rate under § 416.414 because of residing in a medical treatment facility in which Medicaid is paying a substantial portion of the recipient's cost of care.

[55 FR 33669, Aug. 17, 1990, as amended at 72 FR 50874, Sept. 5, 2007]

§ 416.572 Are title II and title VIII benefits subject to adjustment to recover title XVI overpayments?

(a) Definitions -

(1) Cross-program recovery. Cross-program recovery is the process that we will use to collect title XVI overpayments from benefits payable to you under title II or title VIII of the Social Security Act.

(2) Benefits payable. For purposes of this section, benefits payable means the amount of title II or title VIII benefits you actually would receive. For title II benefits, it includes your monthly benefit and your past-due benefits after any reductions or deductions listed in § 404.401(a) and (b) of this chapter. For title VIII benefits, it includes your monthly benefit and any past-due benefits after any reduction by the amount of income for the month as described in §§ 408.505 through 408.510 of this chapter.

(b) When may we collect title XVI overpayments using cross-program recovery? We may use cross-program recovery to collect a title XVI overpayment you owe when benefits are payable to you under title II, title VIII, or both.

[70 FR 16, Jan. 3, 2005]

§ 416.573 How much will we withhold from your title II and title VIII benefits to recover a title XVI overpayment?

(a) If past-due benefits are payable to you, we will withhold the lesser of the entire overpayment balance or the entire amount of past-due benefits.

(b)

(1) We will collect the overpayment from current monthly benefits due in a month by withholding the lesser of the amount of the entire overpayment balance or 10 percent of the monthly title II benefits and monthly title VIII benefits payable to you in the month.

(2) If we are already recovering a title II, title VIII or title XVI overpayment from your monthly title II benefit, we will figure your monthly withholding from title XVI payments (as described in § 416.571) without including your title II benefits in your total countable income.

(3) Paragraph (b)(1) of this section does not apply if:

(i) You request and we approve a different rate of withholding, or

(ii) You or your spouse willfully misrepresented or concealed material information in connection with the overpayment.

(c) In determining whether to grant your request that we withhold less than the amount described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, we will use the criteria applied under § 416.571 to similar requests about withholding from title XVI benefits.

(d) If you or your spouse willfully misrepresented or concealed material information in connection with the overpayment, we will collect the overpayment by withholding the lesser of the overpayment balance or the entire amount of title II benefits and title VIII benefits payable to you. We will not collect at a lesser rate. (See § 416.571 for what we mean by concealment of material information.)

[70 FR 16, Jan. 3, 2005]

§ 416.574 Will you receive notice of our intention to apply cross-program recovery?

Before we collect an overpayment from you using cross-program recovery, we will send you a written notice that tells you the following information:

(a) We have determined that you owe a specific overpayment balance that can be collected by cross-program recovery;

(b) We will withhold a specific amount from the title II or title VIII benefits (see § 416.573);

(c) You may ask us to review this determination that you still owe this overpayment balance;

(d) You may request that we withhold a different amount from your current monthly benefits (the notice will not include this information if § 416.573(d) applies); and

(e) You may ask us to waive collection of this overpayment balance.

[70 FR 16, Jan. 3, 2005]

§ 416.575 When will we begin cross-program recovery from your current monthly benefits?

(a) We will begin collecting the overpayment balance by cross-program recovery from your current monthly title II and title VIII benefits no sooner than 30 calendar days after the date of the notice described in § 416.574. If within that 30-day period you pay us the full overpayment balance stated in the notice, we will not begin cross-program recovery.

(b) If within that 30-day period you ask us to review our determination that you still owe us this overpayment balance, we will not begin cross-program recovery from your current monthly benefits before we review the matter and notify you of our decision in writing.

(c) If within that 30-day period you ask us to withhold a different amount from your current monthly benefits than the amount stated in the notice, we will not begin cross-program recovery until we determine the amount we will withhold. This paragraph does not apply when § 416.573(d) applies.

(d) If within that 30-day period you ask us to waive recovery of the overpayment balance, we will not begin cross-program recovery from your current monthly benefits before we review the matter and notify you of our decision in writing. See §§ 416.550 through 416.556.

[70 FR 16, Jan. 3, 2005]

§ 416.580 Referral of overpayments to the Department of the Treasury for tax refund offset - General.

(a) The standards we will apply and the procedures we will follow before requesting the Department of the Treasury to offset income tax refunds due taxpayers who have an outstanding overpayment are set forth in §§ 416.580 through 416.586 of this subpart. These standards and procedures are authorized by the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 [31 U.S.C. § 3720A], as implemented through Department of the Treasury regulations at 31 CFR 285.2.

(b) We will use the Department of the Treasury tax refund offset procedure to collect overpayments that are certain in amount, past due and legally enforceable, and eligible for tax refund offset under regulations issued by the Secretary of the Treasury. We will use these procedures to collect overpayments only from persons who are not currently entitled to monthly supplemental security income benefits under title XVI of the Act. We refer overpayments to the Department of the Treasury for offset against Federal tax refunds regardless of the amount of time the debts have been outstanding.

[62 FR 49439, Sept. 22, 1997, as amended at 76 FR 65108, Oct. 20, 2011]

§ 416.581 Notice to overpaid person.

We will make a request for collection by reduction of Federal and State income tax refunds only after we determine that a person owes an overpayment that is past due and provide the overpaid person with written notice. Our notice of intent to collect an overpayment through tax refund offset will state:

(a) The amount of the overpayment; and

(b) That we will collect the overpayment by requesting that the Department of the Treasury reduce any amounts payable to the overpaid person as refunds of Federal and State income taxes by an amount equal to the amount of the overpayment unless, within 60 calendar days from the date of our notice, the overpaid person:

(1) Repays the overpayment in full; or

(2) Provides evidence to us at the address given in our notice that the overpayment is not past due or legally enforceable; or

(3) Asks us to waive collection of the overpayment under section 204(b) of the Act.

(c) The conditions under which we will waive recovery of an overpayment under section 1631(b)(1)(B) of the Act;

(d) That we will review any evidence presented that the overpayment is not past due or not legally enforceable;

(e) That the overpaid person has the right to inspect and copy our records related to the overpayment as determined by us and will be informed as to where and when the inspection and copying can be done after we receive notice from the overpaid person that inspection and copying are requested.

[62 FR 49439, Sept. 22, 1997, as amended at 76 FR 65109, Oct. 20, 2011]

§ 416.582 Review within SSA that an overpayment is past due and legally enforceable.

(a) Notification by overpaid individual. An overpaid individual who receives a notice as described in § 416.581 of this subpart has the right to present evidence that all or part of the overpayment is not past due or not legally enforceable. To exercise this right, the individual must notify us and present evidence regarding the overpayment within 60 calendar days from the date of our notice.

(b) Submission of evidence. The overpaid individual may submit evidence showing that all or part of the debt is not past due or not legally enforceable as provided in paragraph (a) of this section. Failure to submit the notification and evidence within 60 calendar days will result in referral of the overpayment to the Department of the Treasury, unless the overpaid individual, within this 60-day time period, has asked us to waive collection of the overpayment under section 1631(b)(1)(B) of the Act and we have not yet determined whether we can grant the waiver request. If the overpaid individual asks us to waive collection of the overpayment, we may ask that evidence to support the request be submitted to us.

(c) Review of the evidence. After a timely submission of evidence by the overpaid individual, we will consider all available evidence related to the overpayment. We will make findings based on a review of the written record, unless we determine that the question of indebtedness cannot be resolved by a review of the documentary evidence.

[62 FR 49439, Sept. 22, 1997]

§ 416.583 Findings by SSA.

(a) Following the review of the record, we will issue written findings which include supporting rationale for the findings. Issuance of these findings concerning whether the overpayment or part of the overpayment is past due and legally enforceable is the final Agency action with respect to the past-due status and enforceability of the overpayment. If we make a determination that a waiver request cannot be granted, we will issue a written notice of this determination in accordance with the regulations in subpart E of this part. Our referral of the overpayment to the Department of the Treasury will not be suspended under § 416.585 of this subpart pending any further administrative review of the waiver request that the individual may seek.

(b) Copies of the findings described in paragraph (a) of this section will be distributed to the overpaid individual and the overpaid individual's attorney or other representative, if any.

(c) If the findings referred to in paragraph (a) of this section affirm that all or part of the overpayment is past due and legally enforceable and, if waiver is requested and we determine that the request cannot be granted, we will refer the overpayment to the Department of the Treasury. However, no referral will be made if, based on our review of the overpayment, we reverse our prior finding that the overpayment is past due and legally enforceable or, upon consideration of a waiver request, we determine that waiver of our collection of the overpayment is appropriate.

[62 FR 49439, Sept. 22, 1997]

§ 416.584 Review of our records related to the overpayment.

(a) Notification by the overpaid individual. An overpaid individual who intends to inspect or copy our records related to the overpayment as determined by us must notify us stating his or her intention to inspect or copy.

(b) Our response. In response to a notification by the overpaid individual as described in paragraph (a) of this section, we will notify the overpaid individual of the location and time when the overpaid individual may inspect or copy our records related to the overpayment. We may also, at our discretion, mail copies of the overpayment-related records to the overpaid individual.

[62 FR 49439, Sept. 22, 1997]

§ 416.585 Suspension of offset.

If, within 60 days of the date of the notice described in § 416.581 of this subpart, the overpaid individual notifies us that he or she is exercising a right described in § 416.582(a) of this subpart and submits evidence pursuant to § 416.582(b) of this subpart or requests a waiver under § 416.550 of this subpart, we will suspend any notice to the Department of the Treasury until we have issued written findings that affirm that an overpayment is past due and legally enforceable and, if applicable, make a determination that a waiver request cannot be granted.

[62 FR 49440, Sept. 22, 1997]

§ 416.586 Tax refund insufficient to cover amount of overpayment.

If a tax refund is insufficient to recover an overpayment in a given year, the case will remain with the Department of the Treasury for succeeding years, assuming that all criteria for certification are met at that time.

[62 FR 49440, Sept. 22, 1997]

§ 416.590 Are there additional methods for recovery of title XVI benefit overpayments?

(a) General. In addition to the methods specified in §§ 416.560, 416.570, 416.572 and 416.580, we may recover an overpayment under title XVI of the Act from you under the rules in subparts D and E of part 422 of this chapter. Subpart D of part 422 of this chapter applies only under the following conditions:

(1) The overpayment occurred after you attained age 18;

(2) You are no longer entitled to benefits under title XVI of the Act; and

(3) Pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, we have determined that the overpayment is otherwise unrecoverable under section 1631(b) of the Act.

(b) When we consider an overpayment to be otherwise unrecoverable. We consider an overpayment under title XVI of the Act to be otherwise unrecoverable under section 1631(b) of the Act if all of the following conditions are met:

(1) We have completed our billing system sequence (i.e., we have sent you an initial notice of the overpayment, a reminder notice, and a past-due notice) or we have suspended or terminated collection activity under applicable rules, such as, the Federal Claims Collection Standards in 31 CFR 903.2 or 903.3.

(2) We have not entered into an installment payment arrangement with you or, if we have entered into such an arrangement, you have failed to make any payment for two consecutive months.

(3) You have not requested waiver pursuant to § 416.550 or § 416.582 or, after a review conducted pursuant to those sections, we have determined that we will not waive collection of the overpayment.

(4) You have not requested reconsideration of the initial overpayment determination pursuant to §§ 416.1407 and 416.1409 or, after a review conducted pursuant to § 416.1413, we have affirmed all or part of the initial overpayment determination.

(5) We cannot recover your overpayment pursuant to § 416.570 by adjustment of benefits payable to any individual other than you. For purposes of this paragraph, if you are a member of an eligible couple that is legally separated and/or living apart, we will deem unrecoverable from the other person that part of your overpayment which he or she did not receive.

[66 FR 67081, Dec. 28, 2001, as amended at 68 FR 74184, Dec. 23, 2003]

Subpart F - Representative Payment
Authority:

Secs. 205(j)(1)(C), 702(a)(5), 1631(a)(2) and (d)(1) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 405(j)(1)(C), 902(a)(5), 1383(a)(2) and (d)(1)).

Source:

47 FR 30475, July 14, 1982, unless otherwise noted.

§ 416.601 Introduction.

(a) Explanation of representative payment. This subpart explains the principles and procedures that we follow in determining whether to make representative payment and in selecting a representative payee. It also explains the responsibilities that a representative payee has concerning the use of the funds he or she receives on behalf of a beneficiary. A representative payee may be either a person or an organization selected by us to receive benefits on behalf of a beneficiary. A representative payee will be selected if we believe that the interest of a beneficiary will be served by representative payment rather than direct payment of benefits. Generally, we appoint a representative payee if we have determined that the beneficiary is not able to manage or direct the management of benefit payments in his or her own interest.

(b) Policy used to determine whether to make representative payment.

(1) Our policy is that every beneficiary has the right to manage his or her own benefits. However, some beneficiaries due to a mental or physical condition or due to their youth may be unable to do so. Under these circumstances, we may determine that the interests of the beneficiary would be better served if we certified benefit payments to another person as a representative payee. However, we must select a representative payee for an individual who is eligible for benefits solely on the basis of disability if drug addiction or alcoholism is a contributing factor material to the determination of disability.

(2) If we determine that representative payment is in the interest of a beneficiary, we will appoint a representative payee. We may appoint a representative payee even if the beneficiary is a legally competent individual. If the beneficiary is a legally incompetent individual, we may appoint the legal guardian or some other person as a representative payee.

(3) If payment is being made directly to a beneficiary and a question arises concerning his or her ability to manage or direct the management of benefit payments, we will, if the beneficiary is 18 years old or older and has not been adjudged legally incompetent, continue to pay the beneficiary until we make a determination about his or her ability to manage or direct the management of benefit payments and the selection of a representative payee.

[47 FR 30475, July 14, 1982, as amended at 60 FR 8150, Feb. 10, 1995]

§ 416.610 When payment will be made to a representative payee.

(a) We pay benefits to a representative payee on behalf of a beneficiary 18 years old or older when it appears to us that this method of payment will be in the interest of the beneficiary. We do this if we have information that the beneficiary is -

(1) Legally incompetent or mentally incapable of managing benefit payments; or

(2) Physically incapable of managing or directing the management of his or her benefit payments; or

(3) Eligible for benefits solely on the basis of disability and drug addiction or alcoholism is a contributing factor material to the determination of disability.

(b) Generally, if a beneficiary is under age 18, we will pay benefits to a representative payee. However, in certain situations, we will make direct payments to a beneficiary under age 18 who shows the ability to manage the benefits. For example, we make direct payment to a beneficiary under age 18 if the beneficiary is -

(1) A parent and files for himself or herself and/or his or her child and he or she has experience in handling his or her own finances; or

(2) Capable of using the benefits to provide for his or her current needs and no qualified payee is available; or

(3) Within 7 months of attaining age 18 and is initially filing an application for benefits.

[47 FR 30475, July 14, 1982, as amended at 54 FR 35483, Aug. 28, 1989; 60 FR 8150, Feb. 10, 1995]

§ 416.611 What happens to your monthly benefits while we are finding a suitable representative payee for you?

(a) We may pay you directly. We will pay current monthly benefits directly to you while finding a suitable representative payee unless we determine that paying you directly would cause substantial harm to you. We determine substantial harm as follows:

(1) If you are receiving disability payments and we have determined that you have a drug addiction or alcoholism condition, or you are legally incompetent, or you are under age 15, we will presume that substantial harm exists. However, we will allow you to rebut this presumption by presenting evidence that direct payment would not cause you substantial harm.

(2) If you do not fit any of these categories, we make findings of substantial harm on a case-by-case basis. We consider all matters that may affect your ability to manage your benefits in your own best interest. We decide that substantial harm exists if both of the following conditions exist:

(i) Directly receiving benefits can be expected to cause you serious physical or mental injury.

(ii) The possible effect of the injury would outweigh the effect of having no income to meet your basic needs.

(b) We may delay or suspend your payments. If we find that direct payment will cause substantial harm to you, we may delay (in the case of initial eligibility for benefits) or suspend (in the case of existing eligibility for benefits) payments for as long as one month while we try to find a suitable representative payee. If we do not find a payee within one month, we will pay you directly. If you are receiving disability payments and we have determined that you have a drug addiction or alcoholism condition, or you are legally incompetent, or you are under age 15, we will withhold payment until a representative payee is appointed even if it takes longer than one month. We will, however, as noted in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, allow you to present evidence to rebut the presumption that direct payment would cause you substantial harm. See § 416.601(b)(3) for our policy on suspending the benefits if you are currently receiving benefits directly.

Example 1: Substantial Harm Exists.

We are unable to find a representative payee for Mr. X, a 67 year old claimant receiving title XVI benefits based on age who is an alcoholic. Based on contacts with the doctor and beneficiary, we determine that Mr. X was hospitalized recently for his drinking. Paying him directly will cause serious injury, so we may delay payment for as long as one month based on substantial harm while we locate a suitable representative payee.

Example 2: Substantial Harm Does Not Exist.

We approve a claim for Mr. Y, a title XVI claimant who suffers from a combination of mental impairments but who is not legally incompetent. We determine that Mr. Y needs assistance in managing benefits, but we have not found a representative payee. Although we believe that Mr. Y may not use the money wisely, there is no indication that receiving funds directly would cause him substantial harm (i.e., serious physical or mental injury). We must pay current benefits directly to Mr. Y while we locate a suitable representative payee.

(c) How we pay delayed or suspended benefits. Payment of benefits, which were delayed or suspended pending appointment of a representative payee, can be made to you or your representative payee as a single sum or in installments when we determine that installments are in your best interest.

[69 FR 60236, Oct. 7, 2004]

§ 416.615 Information considered in determining whether to make representative payment.

In determining whether to make representative payment we consider the following information:

(a) Court determinations. If we learn that a beneficiary has been found to be legally incompetent, a certified copy of the court's determination will be the basis of our determination to make representative payment.

(b) Medical evidence. When available, we will use medical evidence to determine if a beneficiary is capable of managing or directing the management of benefit payments. For example, a statement by a physician or other medical professional based upon his or her recent examination of the beneficiary and his or her knowledge of the beneficiary's present condition will be used in our determination, if it includes information concerning the nature of the beneficiary's illness, the beneficiary's chances for recovery and the opinion of the physician or other medical professional as to whether the beneficiary is able to manage or direct the management of benefit payments.

(c) Other evidence. We will also consider any statements of relatives, friends and other people in a position to know and observe the beneficiary, which contain information helpful to us in deciding whether the beneficiary is able to manage or direct the management of benefit payments.

§ 416.618 Advance designation of representative payees.

(a) General. An individual who:

(1) Is eligible for or an applicant for a benefit; and

(2) Has attained 18 years of age or is an emancipated minor, may designate in advance one or more individuals to possibly serve as a representative payee for the individual if we determine that payment will be made to a representative payee (see § 416.610(a)). An individual may not designate in advance possible representative payees if we have information that the individual is either legally incompetent or mentally incapable of managing his or her benefit payments; or physically incapable of managing or directing the management of his or her benefit payments.

(b) How to designate possible representative payees in advance. Individuals who meet the requirements in paragraph (a) of this section may designate in advance their choice(s) for possible representative payees by indicating their decision to designate a representative payee in advance and providing us with the required information. In addition to the required information, an individual may choose to provide us with the relationship of the advance designee to the individual. The information we require before we will consider an advance designee as a possible representative payee is:

(1) The name of the advance designee,

(2) A telephone number of the advance designee, and

(3) The order of priority in which the individual would like us to consider the advance designees if he or she designates more than one advance designee.

(c) How to make changes to advance designation. Individuals who meet the requirements in paragraph (a) of this section may change their advance designees by informing us of the change and providing the required information (see paragraphs (b)(1) through (3) of this section) to us. Individuals who meet the requirements in paragraph (a) of this section may withdraw their advance designation by informing us of the withdrawal.

(d) How we consider advance designation when we select a representative payee.

(1) If we determine that payment will be made to a representative payee, we will review advance designees in the order listed by the individual and select the first advance designee who meets the criteria for selection. To meet the criteria for selection -

(i) The advance designee must be willing and able to serve as a representative payee,

(ii) Appointment of the advance designee must comply with the requirements in section 205(j)(2) of the Social Security Act, and

(iii) There must be no other good cause (see §§ 416.620 and 416.621) to prevent us from selecting the advance designee.

(2) If none of the advance designees meet the criteria for selection, we will use our list of categories of preferred payees (see § 416.621), along with our other regulations in subpart F of this part, as a guide to select a suitable representative payee.

(e) How we consider advance designation when we select a subsequent representative payee. If an individual who currently has a representative payee requires a change of representative payee, we will consider any other designees identified by the individual at a time in which that individual was eligible to make an advanced designation, under paragraph (d) of this section.

(f) Organizations. An individual may not designate in advance an organization to serve as his or her possible representative payee.

[85 FR 7665, Feb. 11, 2020]

§ 416.620 Information considered in selecting a representative payee.

In selecting a payee we try to select the person, agency, organization or institution that will best serve the interest of the beneficiary. In making our selection we consider -

(a) The relationship of the person to the beneficiary;

(b) The amount of interest that the person shows in the beneficiary;

(c) Any legal authority the person, agency, organization or institution has to act on behalf of the beneficiary;

(d) Whether the potential payee has custody of the beneficiary;

(e) Whether the potential payee is in a position to know of and look after the needs of the beneficiary;

(f) The potential payee's criminal history; and

(g) Whether the beneficiary made an advance designation (see § 416.618).

[47 FR 30475, July 14, 1982, as amended at 84 FR 4325, Feb. 15, 2019; 85 FR 7665, Feb. 11. 2020]

§ 416.621 What is our order of preference in selecting a representative payee for you?

As a guide in selecting a representative payee, we have established categories of preferred payees. These preferences are flexible. We will consider an individual's advance designees (see § 416.618) before we consider other potential representative payees in the categories of preferred payees listed in this section. When we select a representative payee, we will choose the designee of the beneficiary's highest priority, provided that the designee is willing and able to serve, is not prohibited from serving (see § 416.622), and supports the best interest of the beneficiary (see § 416.620). The preferences are:

(a) For beneficiaries 18 years old or older (except those described in paragraph (b) of this section), our preference is -

(1) A legal guardian, spouse (or other relative) who has custody of the beneficiary or who demonstrates strong concern for the personal welfare of the beneficiary;

(2) A friend who has custody of the beneficiary or demonstrates strong concern for the personal welfare of the beneficiary;

(3) A public or nonprofit agency or institution having custody of the beneficiary;

(4) A private institution operated for profit and licensed under State law, which has custody of the beneficiary; and

(5) Persons other than above who are qualified to carry out the responsibilities of a payee and who are able and willing to serve as a payee for the beneficiary; e.g., members of community groups or organizations who volunteer to serve as payee for a beneficiary.

(b) For individuals who are disabled and who have a drug addiction or alcoholism condition our preference is -

(1) A community-based nonprofit social service agency licensed by the State, or bonded;

(2) A Federal, State or local government agency whose mission is to carry out income maintenance, social service, or health care-related activities;

(3) A State or local government agency with fiduciary responsibilities;

(4) A designee of an agency (other than a Federal agency) referred to in paragraphs (b)(1), (2), and (3) of this section, if appropriate; or

(5) A family member.

(c) For beneficiaries under age 18, our preference is -

(1) A natural or adoptive parent who has custody of the beneficiary, or a guardian;

(2) A natural or adoptive parent who does not have custody of the beneficiary, but is contributing toward the beneficiary's support and is demonstrating strong concern for the beneficiary's well being;

(3) A natural or adoptive parent who does not have custody of the beneficiary and is not contributing toward his or her support but is demonstrating strong concern for the beneficiary's well being;

(4) A relative or stepparent who has custody of the beneficiary;

(5) A relative who does not have custody of the beneficiary but is contributing toward the beneficiary's support and is demonstrating concern for the beneficiary's well being;

(6) A relative or close friend who does not have custody of the beneficiary but is demonstrating concern for the beneficiary's well being; and

(7) An authorized social agency or custodial institution.

[47 FR 30475, July 14, 1982, as amended at 69 FR 60237, Oct. 7, 2004; 85 FR 7665, Feb. 11, 2020]

§ 416.622 Who may not serve as a representative payee?

A representative payee applicant may not serve if he/she:

(a) Has been convicted of a violation under section 208, 811 or 1632 of the Social Security Act.

(b) Has been convicted of an offense resulting in imprisonment for more than 1 year. However, we may make an exception to this prohibition, if the nature of the conviction is such that selection of the applicant poses no risk to the beneficiary and the exception is in the beneficiary's best interest.

(c) Receives title II, VIII, or XVI benefits through a representative payee.

(d) Previously served as a representative payee and was found by us, or a court of competent jurisdiction, to have misused title II, VIII or XVI benefits. However, if we decide to make an exception to the prohibition, we must evaluate the payee's performance at least every 3 months until we are satisfied that the payee poses no risk to the beneficiary's best interest. Exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis if all of the following are true:

(1) Direct payment of benefits to the beneficiary is not in the beneficiary's best interest.

(2) No suitable alternative payee is available.

(3) Selecting the payee applicant as representative payee would be in the best interest of the beneficiary.

(4) The information we have indicates the applicant is now suitable to serve as a representative payee.

(5) The payee applicant has repaid the misused benefits or has a plan to repay them.

(e) Is a creditor. A creditor is someone who provides you with goods or services for consideration. This restriction does not apply to the creditor who poses no risk to you and whose financial relationship with you presents no substantial conflict of interest, and is any of the following:

(1) A relative living in the same household as you do.

(2) Your legal guardian or legal representative.

(3) A facility that is licensed or certified as a care facility under the law of a State or a political subdivision of a State.

(4) A qualified organization authorized to collect a monthly fee from you for expenses incurred in providing representative payee services for you, under § 416.640a.

(5) An administrator, owner, or employee of the facility in which you live and we are unable to locate an alternative representative payee.

(6) Any other individual we deem appropriate based on a written determination.

Example 1:

Sharon applies to be representative payee for Ron who we have determined needs assistance in managing his benefits. Sharon has been renting a room to Ron for several years and assists Ron in handling his other financial obligations, as needed. She charges Ron a reasonable amount of rent. Ron has no other family or friends willing to help manage his benefits or to act as representative payee. Sharon has demonstrated that her interest in and concern for Ron goes beyond her desire to collect the rent each month. In this instance, we may select Sharon as Ron's representative payee because a more suitable payee is not available, she appears to pose no risk to Ron and there is minimal conflict of interest. We will document this decision.

Example 2:

In a situation similar to the one above, Ron's landlord indicates that she is applying to be payee only to ensure receipt of her rent. If there is money left after payment of the rent, she will give it directly to Ron to manage on his own. In this situation, we would not select the landlord as Ron's representative payee because of the substantial conflict of interest and lack of interest in his well being.

(f) Was convicted under Federal or State law of a felony for: Human trafficking, false imprisonment, kidnapping, rape or sexual assault, first-degree homicide, robbery, fraud to obtain access to government assistance, fraud by scheme, theft of government funds or property, abuse or neglect, forgery, or identity theft or identity fraud. We will also apply this provision to a representative payee applicant with a felony conviction of an attempt to commit any of these crimes or conspiracy to commit any of these crimes.

(1) If the representative payee applicant is the custodial parent of a minor child beneficiary, custodial parent of a beneficiary who is under a disability which began before the beneficiary attained the age of 22, custodial spouse of a beneficiary, custodial court-appointed guardian of a beneficiary, or custodial grandparent of the minor child beneficiary for whom the applicant is applying to serve as representative payee, we will not consider the conviction for one of the crimes, or of attempt or conspiracy to commit one of the crimes, listed in this paragraph (f), by itself, to prohibit the applicant from serving as a representative payee. We will consider the criminal history of an applicant in this category, along with the factors in paragraphs (a) through (e) of this section, when we decide whether it is in the best interest of the individual entitled to benefits to appoint the applicant as a representative payee.

(2) If the representative payee applicant is the parent who was previously the representative payee for his or her minor child who has since turned age 18 and continues to be eligible for benefits, we will not consider the conviction for one of the crimes, or of attempt or conspiracy to commit one of the crimes, listed in this paragraph (f), by itself, to prohibit the applicant from serving as a representative payee for that beneficiary. We will consider the criminal history of an applicant in this category, along with the factors in paragraphs (a) through (e) of this section, when we decide whether it is in the best interest of the individual entitled to benefits to appoint the applicant as a representative payee.

(3) If the representative payee applicant received a Presidential or gubernatorial pardon for the relevant conviction, we will not consider the conviction for one of the crimes, or of attempt or conspiracy to commit one of the crimes, listed in this paragraph (f), by itself, to prohibit the applicant from serving as a representative payee. We will consider the criminal history of an applicant in this category, along with the factors in paragraphs (a) through (e) of this section, when we decide whether it is in the best interest of the individual entitled to benefits to appoint the applicant as a representative payee.

[69 FR 60237, Oct. 7, 2004, as amended at 71 FR 61408, Oct. 18, 2006; 84 FR 4325, Feb. 15, 2019]

§ 416.624 How do we investigate a representative payee applicant?

Before selecting an individual or organization to act as your representative payee, we will perform an investigation.

(a) Nature of the investigation. As part of the investigation, we do the following:

(1) Conduct a face-to-face interview with the payee applicant unless it is impracticable as explained in paragraph (c) of this section.

(2) Require the payee applicant to submit documented proof of identity, unless information establishing identity has recently been submitted with an application for title II, VIII or XVI benefits.

(3) Verify the payee applicant's Social Security account number or employer identification number.

(4) Determine whether the payee applicant has been convicted of a violation of section 208, 811 or 1632 of the Social Security Act.

(5) Determine whether the payee applicant has previously served as a representative payee and if any previous appointment as payee was revoked or terminated for misusing title II, VIII or XVI benefits.

(6) Use our records to verify the payee applicant's employment and/or direct receipt of title II, VIII, or XVI benefits.

(7) Verify the payee applicant's concern for the beneficiary with the beneficiary's custodian or other interested person.

(8) Require the payee applicant to provide adequate information showing his or her relationship to the beneficiary and to describe his or her responsibility for the care of the beneficiary.

(9) Determine whether the payee applicant is a creditor of the beneficiary (see § 416.622(e)).

(10) Conduct a criminal background check on the individual payee applicant.

(b) Subsequent face-to-face interviews. After holding a face-to-face interview with a payee applicant, subsequent face-to-face interviews are not required if that applicant continues to be qualified and currently is acting as a payee, unless we determine, within our discretion, that a new face-to-face interview is necessary. We base this decision on the payee's past performance and knowledge of and compliance with our reporting requirements.

(c) Impracticable. We may consider a face-to-face interview impracticable if it would cause the payee applicant undue hardship. For example, the payee applicant would have to travel a great distance to the field office. In this situation, we may conduct the investigation to determine the payee applicant's suitability to serve as a representative payee without a face-to-face interview.

[69 FR 60237, Oct. 7, 2004, as amended at 73 FR 66521, Nov. 10, 2008; 84 FR 4326, Feb. 15, 2018; 84 FR 57320, Oct. 25, 2019]

§ 416.625 What information must a representative payee report to us?

Anytime after we select a representative payee for you, we may ask your payee to give us information showing a continuing relationship with you, a continuing responsibility for your care, and how he/she used the payments on your behalf. If your representative payee does not give us the requested information within a reasonable period of time, we may stop sending your benefit payment to him/her - unless we determine that he/she had a satisfactory reason for not meeting our request and we subsequently receive the requested information. If we decide to stop sending your benefit payment to your representative payee, we will consider paying you directly (in accordance with § 416.611) while we look for a new payee.

[69 FR 60238, Oct. 7, 2004]

§ 416.626 How do we investigate an appointed representative payee?

After we select an individual to act as your representative payee, we will conduct a criminal background check on the appointed representative payee at least once every 5 years.

[84 FR 4326, Feb. 15, 2019, as amended at 84 FR 57320, Oct. 25, 2019]

§ 416.630 How will we notify you when we decide you need a representative payee?

(a) We notify you in writing of our determination to make representative payment. This advance notice explains that we have determined that representative payment is in your interest, and it provides the name of the representative payee we have selected. We provide this notice before we actually appoint the payee. If you are under age 15, an unemancipated minor under the age of 18, or legally incompetent, our written notice goes to your legal guardian or legal representative. The advance notice:

(1) Contains language that is easily understandable to the reader.

(2) Identifies the person designated as your representative payee.

(3) Explains that you, your legal guardian, or your legal representative can appeal our determination that you need a representative payee.

(4) Explains that you, your legal guardian, or your legal representative can appeal our designation of a particular person to serve as your representative payee.

(5) Explains that you, your legal guardian, or your legal representative can review the evidence upon which our designation of a particular representative payee is based and submit additional evidence.

(b) If you, your legal guardian, or your legal representative objects to representative payment or to the designated payee, we will handle the objection as follows:

(1) If you disagree with the decision and wish to file an appeal, we will process it under subpart N of this part.

(2) If you received your advance notice by mail and you protest or file your appeal within 10 days after you receive the notice, we will delay the action until we make a decision on your protest or appeal. (If you received and signed your notice while you were in the local field office, our decision will be effective immediately.)

[69 FR 60238, Oct. 7, 2004]

§ 416.635 What are the responsibilities of your representative payee?

A representative payee has a responsibility to -

(a) Use the benefits received on your behalf only for your use and benefit in a manner and for the purposes he or she determines under the guidelines in this subpart, to be in your best interests;

(b) Keep any benefits received on your behalf separate from his or her own funds and show your ownership of these benefits unless he or she is your spouse or natural or adoptive parent or stepparent and lives in the same household with you or is a State or local government agency for whom we have granted an exception to this requirement;

(c) Treat any interest earned on the benefits as your property;

(d) Notify us of any event or change in your circumstances that will affect the amount of benefits you receive, your right to receive benefits, or how you receive them;

(e) Submit to us, upon our request, a written report accounting for the benefits received on your behalf, and make all supporting records available for review if requested by us;

(f) Notify us of any change in his or her circumstances that would affect performance of his/her payee responsibilities; and

(g) Ensure that you are receiving treatment to the extent considered medically necessary and available for the condition that was the basis for providing benefits (see § 416.994a(i)) if you are under age 18 (including cases in which your low birth weight is a contributing factor material to our determination that you are disabled).

[71 FR 61408, Oct. 18, 2006]

§ 416.640 Use of benefit payments.

(a) Current maintenance. We will consider that payments we certify to a representive payee have been used for the use and benefit of the beneficiary if they are used for the beneficiary's current maintenance. Current maintenance includes costs incurred in obtaining food, shelter, clothing, medical care and personal comfort items.

Example:

A Supplemental Security Income beneficiary is entitled to a monthly benefit of $264. The beneficiary's son, who is the representative payee, disburses the benefits in the following manner:

Rent and Utilities $166
Medical 20
Food 60
Clothing 10
Miscellaneous 8

The above expenditures would represent proper disbursements on behalf of the beneficiary.

(b) Institution not receiving Medicaid funds on beneficiary's behalf. If a beneficiary is receiving care in a Federal, State, or private institution because of mental or physical incapacity, current maintenance will include the customary charges for the care and services provided by an institution, expenditures for those items which will aid in the beneficiary's recovery or release from the institution, and nominal expenses for personal needs (e.g., personal hygiene items, snacks, candy) which will improve the beneficiary's condition. Except as provided under § 416.212, there is no restriction in using SSI benefits for a beneficiary's current maintenance in an institution. Any payments remaining from SSI benefits may be used for a temporary period to maintain the beneficiary's residence outside of the institution unless a physician has certified that the beneficiary is not likely to return home.

Example:

A hospitalized disabled beneficiary is entitled to a monthly benefit of $264. The beneficiary, who resides in a boarding home, has resided there for over 6 years. It is doubtful that the beneficiary will leave the boarding home in the near future. The boarding home charges $215 per month for the beneficiary's room and board.

The beneficiary's representative payee pays the boarding home $215 (assuming an unsuccessful effort was made to negotiate a lower rate during the beneficiary's absence) and uses the balance to purchase miscellaneous personal items for the beneficiary. There are no benefits remaining which can be conserved on behalf of the beneficiary. The payee's use of the benefits is consistent with our guidelines.

(c) Institution receiving Medicaid funds on beneficiary's behalf. Except in the case of a beneficiary receiving benefits payable under § 416.212, if a beneficiary resides throughout a month in an institution that receives more than 50 percent of the cost of care on behalf of the beneficiary from Medicaid, any payments due shall be used only for the personal needs of the beneficiary and not for other items of current maintenance.

Example:

A disabled beneficiary resides in a hospital. The superintendent of the hospital receives $30 per month as the beneficiary's payee. The benefit payment is disbursed in the following manner, which would be consistent with our guidelines:

Miscellaneous canteen items $10
Clothing 15
Conserved for future needs of the beneficiary 5

(d) Claims of creditors. A payee may not be required to use benefit payments to satisfy a debt of the beneficiary, if the debt arose prior to the first month for which payments are certified to a payee. If the debt arose prior to this time, a payee may satisfy it only if the current and reasonably foreseeable needs of the beneficiary are met.

Example:

A disabled beneficiary was determined to be eligible for a monthly benefit payment of $208 effective April 1981. The benefits were certified to the beneficiary's brother who was appointed as the representative payee. The payee conserved $27 of the benefits received. In June 1981 the payee received a bill from a doctor who had treated the beneficiary in February and March 1981. The bill was for $175.

After reviewing the beneficiary's current needs and resources, the payee decided not to use any of the benefits to pay the doctor's bill. (Approximately $180 a month is required for the beneficiary's current monthly living expenses - rent, utilities, food, and insurance - and the beneficiary will need new shoes and a coat within the next few months.)

Based upon the above, the payee's decision not to pay the doctor's bill is consistent with our guidelines.

(e) Dedicated accounts for eligible individuals under age 18.

(1) When past-due benefit payments are required to be paid into a separate dedicated account (see § 416.546), the representative payee is required to establish in a financial institution an account dedicated to the purposes described in paragraph (e)(2) of this section. This dedicated account may be a checking, savings or money market account subject to the titling requirements set forth in § 416.645. Dedicated accounts may not be in the form of certificates of deposit, mutual funds, stocks, bonds or trusts.

(2) A representative payee shall use dedicated account funds, whether deposited on a mandatory or permissive basis (as described in § 416.546), for the benefit of the child and only for the following allowable expenses -

(i) Medical treatment and education or job skills training;

(ii) If related to the child's impairment(s), personal needs assistance; special equipment; housing modification; and therapy or rehabilitation; or

(iii) Other items and services related to the child's impairment(s) that we determine to be appropriate. The representative payee must explain why or how the other item or service relates to the impairment(s) of the child. Attorney fees related to the pursuit of the child's disability claim and use of funds to prevent malnourishment or homelessness could be considered appropriate expenditures.

(3) Representative payees must keep records and receipts of all deposits to and expenditures from dedicated accounts, and must submit these records to us upon our request, as explained in §§ 416.635 and 416.665.

(4) The use of funds from a dedicated account in any manner not authorized by this section constitutes a misapplication of benefits. These misapplied benefits are not an overpayment as defined in § 416.537; however, if we determine that a representative payee knowingly misapplied funds in a dedicated account, that representative payee shall be liable to us in an amount equal to the total amount of the misapplied funds. In addition, if a recipient who is his or her own payee knowingly misapplies benefits in a dedicated account, we will reduce future benefits payable to that recipient (or to that recipient and his or her spouse) by an amount equal to the total amount of the misapplied funds.

(5) The restrictions described in this section and the income and resource exclusions described in §§ 416.1124(c)(20) and 416.1247 shall continue to apply until all funds in the dedicated account are depleted or eligibility for benefits terminates, whichever comes first. This continuation of the restrictions and exclusions applies in situations where funds remain in the account in any of the following situations -

(i) A child attains age 18, continues to be eligible and receives payments directly;

(ii) A new representative payee is appointed. When funds remaining in a dedicated account are returned to us by the former representative payee, the new representative payee must establish an account in a financial institution into which we will deposit these funds, even if the amount is less than that prescribed in § 416.546; or

(iii) During a period of suspension due to ineligibility as described in § 416.1320, administrative suspension, or a period of eligibility for which no payment is due.

[47 FR 30475, July 14, 1982, as amended at 61 FR 10278, Mar. 13, 1996; 61 FR 67206, Dec. 20, 1996; 76 FR 453, Jan. 5, 2011]

§ 416.640a Compensation for qualified organizations serving as representative payees.

(a) Organizations that can request compensation. A qualified organization can request us to authorize it to collect a monthly fee from your benefit payment. A qualified organization is:

(1) Any State or local government agency with fiduciary responsibilities or whose mission is to carry out income maintenance, social service, or health care-related activities; or

(2) Any community-based nonprofit social service organization founded for religious, charitable or social welfare purposes, which is tax exempt under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code and which is bonded/insured to cover misuse and embezzlement by officers and employees and which is licensed in each State in which it serves as representative payee (if licensing is available in the State). The minimum amount of bonding or insurance coverage must equal the average monthly amount of supplemental security income payments received by the organization plus the amount of the beneficiaries' conserved funds (i.e., beneficiaries' saved supplemental security income payments) plus interest on hand. For example, an organization that has conserved funds of $5,000 and receives an average of $12,000 a month in supplemental security income payments must be bonded/insured for a minimum of $17,000. The license must be appropriate under the laws of the State for the type of services the organization provides. An example of an appropriately licensed organization is a community mental health center holding a State license to provide community mental health services.

(b) Requirements qualified organizations must meet. Organizations that are qualified under paragraphs (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section must also meet the following requirements before we can authorize them to collect a monthly fee.

(1) A qualified organization must regularly provide representative payee services concurrently to at least five beneficiaries. An organization which has received our authorization to collect a fee for representative payee services, but is temporarily (not more than 6 months) not a payee for at least five beneficiaries, may request our approval to continue to collect fees.

(2) A qualified organization must demonstrate that it is not a creditor of the beneficiary. See paragraph (c) of this section for exceptions to the requirement regarding creditors.

(c) Creditor relationship. On a case-by-case basis, we may authorize an organization to collect a fee for payee services despite the creditor relationship. (For example, the creditor is the beneficiary's landlord.) To provide this authorization, we will review all of the evidence submitted by the organization and authorize collection of a fee when:

(1) The creditor services (e.g., providing housing) provided by the organization help to meet the current needs of the beneficiary; and

(2) The amount the organization charges the beneficiary for these services is commensurate with the beneficiary's ability to pay.

(d) Authorization process.

(1) An organization must request in writing and receive an authorization from us before it may collect a fee.

(2) An organization seeking authorization to collect a fee must also give us evidence to show that it is qualified, pursuant to paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of this section, to collect a fee.

(3) If the evidence provided to us by the organization shows that it meets the requirements of this section, and additional investigation by us proves it suitable to serve, we will notify the organization in writing that it is authorized to collect a fee. If we need more evidence, or if we are not able to authorize the collection of a fee, we will also notify the organization in writing that we have not authorized the collection of a fee.

(e) Revocation and cancellation of the authorization.

(1) We will revoke an authorization to collect a fee if we have evidence which establishes that an organization no longer meets the requirements of this section. We will issue a written notice to the organization explaining the reason(s) for the revocation.

(2) An organization may cancel its authorization at any time upon written notice to us.

(f) Notices. The written notice we will send to an organization authorizing the collection of a fee will contain an effective date for the collection of a fee pursuant to paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of this section. The effective date will be no earlier than the month in which the organization asked for authorization to collect a fee. The notice will be applicable to all beneficiaries for whom the organization was payee at the time of our authorization and all beneficiaries for whom the organization becomes payee while the authorization is in effect.

(g) Limitation on fees.

(1) An organization authorized to collect a fee under this section may collect from a beneficiary a monthly fee for expenses (including overhead) it has incurred in providing payee services to a beneficiary. The limit on the fee a qualified organization may collect for providing payee services increases by the same percentage as the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA). The increased fee amount (rounded to the nearest dollar) is taken beginning with the payment for January.

(2) Any agreement providing for a fee in excess of the amount permitted shall be void and treated as misuse of your benefits by the organization under § 416.641.

(3) A fee may be collected for any month during which the organization -

(i) Provides representative payee services;

(ii) Receives a benefit payment for the beneficiary; and

(iii) Is authorized to receive a fee for representative payee services.

(4) Fees for services may not be taken from any funds conserved for the beneficiary by a payee in accordance with § 416.645.

(5) Generally, an organization may not collect a fee for months in which it does not receive a benefit payment. However, an organization will be allowed to collect a fee for months in which it did not receive a payment if we later issue payment for these months and the organization:

(i) Received our approval to collect a fee for the months for which payment is made;

(ii) Provided payee services in the months for which payment is made; and

(iii) Was the payee when the retroactive payment was paid by us.

(6) Fees for services may not be taken from beneficiary benefits for the months for which we or a court of competent jurisdiction determine(s) that the representative payee misused benefits. Any fees collected for such months will be treated as a part of the beneficiary's misused benefits.

(7) An authorized organization can collect a fee fo