The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) established a new requirement for handling some payments of past due amounts to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients under age 18 who have representative payees.
If a past due payment is a payment of monthly benefits greater than six times the current SSI maximum for one person, then the representative payee must deposit the payment into a dedicated account. The requirement applies to all such payments made after August 22, 1996. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will not pay past due monthly benefits until a dedicated account has been established. SSA will direct deposit these payments into the dedicated account.
A dedicated account for an SSI recipient may be a:
- savings account,
- checking account, or
- money market account established in a financial institution.
A dedicated account for an SSI recipient may not be a:
- certificate of deposit,
- mutual fund,
- stocks, or
The title of the account must show that the child owns the funds (including interest), but only the payee can access the funds on the child’s behalf. The account must have the sole purpose of receiving and maintaining SSI past due benefits. Other payments (regular SSI payments, OASDI payments, and other income) may not be deposited into the dedicated account. Interest earned by the account may be deposited into the account.
Once a dedicated account is established, other past due amounts that exceed six times the SSI maximum for one person must be deposited into it. Past due amounts which are at least equal to the SSI maximum for one person and are less than or equal to six times the SSI maximum for one person may be deposited into the account, but is not a requirement.
The dedicated account is to be used only for the benefit of the child and only for certain expenses:
- medical treatment and education or job skills training;
- if related to the child’s impairment(s), personal needs assistance, special equipment, housing modification, and therapy or rehabilitation;
- other items and services related to the child’s impairment(s) which are determined appropriate by the SSA.
Any funds in an SSI dedicated account are not considered an available resource for all MO HealthNet programs. The exclusion of a dedicated account continues until the account is depleted or eligibility for SSI terminates, whichever comes first. If SSI eligibility ends, any balance remaining in the dedicated account must be considered an available resource to the former SSI recipient.
The exclusion continues to apply in any of the following situations:
- a child attains age 18, continues to be eligible for SSI and receives payments directly;
- a new representative payee is appointed; or
- during a period of SSI suspension or a period of SSI eligibility for which no payment is due.
SSI dedicated accounts are entered in FAMIS on the Liquid Resource (FMW0) screen as Type DE DEDICATED ACCOUNTS and MHABD Excl Rsn GP GOVERNMENT PAYMENT (SSI/TRIBE PAYMENTS, ETC.)