POMS Reference

This change was made on May 10, 2018. See latest version.
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GN 00505.010: Representative Payee (RP) Procedures - Foreign Claims

  • Effective Dates: 06/19/2014 - Present
  • Effective Dates: 05/10/2018 - Present
  • TN 6 (09-97)
  • TN 8 (05-18)
  • GN 00505.010 Payee Procedures for Foreign Claims - General
  • GN 00505.010 Representative Payee (RP) Procedures - Foreign Claims
  • The same policies generally apply in ascertaining whether a representative payee is needed and in selecting a payee for an individual outside the U.S. However, because it is not always possible to have on-the-spot assistance of individuals specially trained in Social Security matters, most representative payee development must be accomplished by mail or through the facilities of a FO or FSP in Manila. In addition, conditions which exist in various countries often make it necessary to modify or expand the general procedures. For example, where payee development has been undertaken by the FSP or FO by mail and it is obvious that office cannot interview the payee applicant personally, it would not ordinarily be necessary to institute development merely to ask for a recommendation as to the applicant's suitability as payee. (This does not eliminate the necessity for a recommendation where more than one potential payee is available or an unusual or questionable situation exists.) Of course, deviations such as this depend upon the circumstances of the case, and the file must be documented by a brief explanation if it will not be apparent from the file or other information.
  • A. Introduction to Representative Payees (RPs) in foreign claims
  • The different laws, customs, languages, and conditions abroad can often complicate the administration of the Social Security programs outside the United States. This section provides general information on determining the need for and selecting Representative Payees (RPs) for beneficiaries living outside the United States.
  • B. Policy for determining the need for and selecting a Representative Payee (RP) in foreign claims
  • The policies for determining the need for and selecting a RP for a beneficiary living outside the United States are the same as the domestic policies. For information about making, a capability determination see GN 00502.060. Except as described below, you must interview the RP applicant face-to-face unless an exception applies. For a list of foreign country and regional service information, see https://www.ssa.gov/foreign/foreign.htm.
  • For information on face-to face interviews see GN 00502.050A.1, GN 00502.107A.2, and GN 00502.110D. For information on interviewing the RP applicant and selecting a qualified payee see GN 00502.113 and GN 00502.132.
  • C. Procedure for Representative Payee (RP) development in foreign claims
  • It is not always possible to have on-the-spot assistance of personnel specially trained in Social Security matters in foreign countries. Therefore, we do most RP development by mail or through a field office (FO) or a Federal Benefits Unit (FBU). It is sometimes necessary to modify or expand the general procedures when civil unrest or long distances, expense or travel conditions make it unsafe or inadvisable to visit a FBU.
  • For example, the FBU or FO may develop for a RP by mail since it would cause an undue hardship for the RP applicant to attend a face-to-face interview, the FBU or FO personnel may conduct a telephone interview. It is necessary to obtain information on the suitability of the RP. Document the reason for the selection, especially when more than one potential RP is available or an unusual or questionable situation exists. For information on other contacts to evaluate payee suitability, see GN 00502.181. Document the file in the Electronic Representative Payee System (eRPS); however, if the RP applicant does not have a social security number (SSN) use the Form SSA-5002 (Report of Contact), with a brief explanation of the circumstances in these cases and actions taken.
  • D. Incapable beneficiary abroad with a United States address and a Representative Payee (RP) in the United States
  • In some cases, an incapable beneficiary living abroad can use a United States mailing address. A contact also in the United States can be their RP (e.g., a RP might be an adult child, other relative or friend). For instance, an incapable beneficiary lives in Spain. Her daughter, who lives in the United States, is her RP. The beneficiary living in Spain can use a United States mailing address. We must have her actual home address in Spain at all times. For information on when a beneficiary abroad can use a United States address, see GN 02605.220.
  • E. References
  • GN 02605.220 U.S. Address Used by a Beneficiary Abroad
  • GN 00502.050 Developing Evidence of Capability
  • GN 00502.060 Making a Capability Determination
  • GN 00502.065 Documenting a Capability Determination
  • GN 00502.105 Payee Preference Lists
  • GN 00502.107 The Representative Payee Application
  • GN 00502.110 Taking Application in the eRPS
  • GN 00502.113 Interviewing the Payee Applicant
  • GN 00502.114 Payee Responsibilities and Duties
  • GN 00502.130 Factors to Consider in Evaluating Payee Applicants
  • GN 00502.132 Selecting a Qualified Representative Payee (RP)
  • GN 00502.181 Other Contacts to Evaluate Payee Applicant's Suitability
  • GN 00502.183 Making a Payee Appointment Determination
  • GN 00502.185 Documenting Payee Selections/Non-Selections and Post-Entitlement Actions in eRPS
  • GN 00904.026 Servicing Office – Representative Payee Involved Initial Claims
  • GN 00904.028 Servicing Office – Representative Payee Involved – Posteligibility