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Representative Payee

I started Social Security at 62 so that my child would get benefits until she graduated from high school. I am the Representative Payee for this account. Since I am divorced from her mother, do I need to tell her mother about this accumulating benefit? Does her mother have any say in how this money is to be spent? Can I just pay my half of her educational expenses from this and expect her mother to pay her share?

Thanks so much.

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Let me preface these comments by saying that they are not authoritative. I would seek assistance from the SSA or your legal counsel (divorce settlement lawyer) as needed.

That said, I could not find any requirement from the SSA indicating you must inform your ex-spouse regarding the payment from the SSA for the benefit of the child. However, you obviously must meet any child support agreement from the divorce.

You must inform the SSA when certain events happen to the beneficiary, including :

  • Custody of a child beneficiary changes or a child is adopted;
  • The beneficiary is a child and the parents divorce;

After providing benefit payments for the beneficiary's basic needs, you may spend the money to improve the beneficiary's daily living conditions or for better medical care.

http://www.ssa.gov/payee/faqrep.htm

http://ssa.gov/pubs/10076.html#how


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