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Representative payee question for adult disabled son

My husband is the representative payee for his son, who is disabled and lives with us. He is an adult, 29 years old, and gets SSI.

We've always received his SSI check in the mail and are up against the deadline for direct deposit. We need to set up the direct deposit soon! However, a number of things seem quite confusing.

First of all, is it absolutely necessary to set up a separate, dedicated account for his SSI? We planned on doing this until we visited the SS website which gave us the following info:

"An exception for parents who are representative payees-

A common checking account for all family members living in the same household who receive benefits may show a parent as the owner of the account."

Does this mean that we can have son's SSI check direct deposited into my husband's bank account? It is in his name only (my husband's.)

We find all of this very confusing and would appreciate some advice! Thanks.

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This is straight from the SS website:

"Exception for showing a beneficiary’s ownership of funds

There are exceptions to the general rule that the title of the account or sub account must show the beneficiary's ownership of the funds. This exception applies if the title meets all of the following conditions:

Spouses and parents

The payee is the spouse, natural parent or adoptive parent, or stepparent of the beneficiary, and

The payee and the beneficiary live in the same household, and

The payee requests direct deposit to the payee's personal checking account, and

The field office (FO) confirms with the payee that benefits received are for the beneficiary's current expenses and there will be no accumulation of funds in the account."

Since all of the above DO apply, we take this to mean that it will be okay for us to deposit our adult disabled son's SSI check into my husband's bank account. Is this the case? Thanks.

Looks like you're quoting from the SSA's "POMS" (Program Operations Manual System) page. POMS is the SSA's internal guide book, so it should be rather definitive for procedures.

I agree with your analysis, provided you have approval from the field office. From a POMS example :

EXAMPLE 2: Betty Roe, age 25, qualifies for SSI benefits as a disabled individual. Her father, with whom she lives, becomes her representative payee and requests direct deposit to his own checking account. He states that all funds spent are for Betty's current expenses. The FO approves the request.

In this case, I would keep some record of proof of approval by the field office (letter or phone record with SSA employee).

You may want to look at this report regarding account titles. It applies mostly to non-family representative payees. Examples of this are nursing homes that receive funds. It still may be of interest to you.

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