GN 00502: Determining the Need for, Developing and Selecting a Representative Payee
TN 43 (04-16)
The electronic Representative Payee System (eRPS) is a web-based application that processes representative payee applications and contains all representative payee related information. Anyone who wishes to receive benefits as a representative payee must complete the payee application (SSA-11). Process all representative payee applications through eRPS unless it is not possible to do so (i.e., an undocumented alien parent payee cannot be assigned an SSN).
You must appoint the same payee for all benefits to which the beneficiary is entitled and one payee application applies for all benefits payable if you are making all the decisions at the same time. However, if an applicant is currently serving as payee for one type of benefit and another type is subsequently awarded, a separate representative payee application is needed from the payee for the subsequent benefit.
Field Office (FO) technicians can use eRPS to create a new application and update a pending application through the “Representative Payee Applications” from the eRPS home screen (MS INTRANETERPS 001.002).
For active payees, you can make updates through the “Search/View/Update” and search by beneficiary, individual, organization, or beneficiary/payee relationship.
1. Representative Payee Applications/Create New Application
The eRPS Home screen (MS INTRANETERPS 001.002) displays “the Create New Application” link under the Representative Payee Applications section. You must select this to start the application process. When you create a new application, eRPS will ask you the following questions on the Introduction screen.
Is the applicant filing for multiple minor children in his or her household; and
Claimant SSN, if known.
There are three types of applicants in eRPS:
Organizational Payees; and
Self-payees( beneficiary applying for direct payment, custody code “SEL” SM 00550.080)
The specific information in the application path varies depending on the answers to each individual question. Information included in the payee application path includes:
Applicant’s proof of identity (GN 00502.117 and MS INTRANETERPS 009.011);
Applicant’s contact information including address and phone number (MS INTRANETERPS 009.009 and MS INTRANETERPS 009.010);
Applicant’s relationship to the claimant (MS INTRANETERPS 009.005);
Custody information ( GN 00502.139 and MS INTRANETERPS 009.006);
Legal guardian information ( MS INTRANETERPS 009.007);
Criminal history information ( MS INTRANETERPS 010.001);
Permission to run a background check, if applicable (MS INTRANETERPS 009.014);
Applicant’s income (GN 00502.117A.4 and MS INTRANETERPS 009.013);
Claimant’s capability (MS INTRANETERPS 009.017);
Claimant’s entitlements (GN 00502.060 and MS INTRANETERPS 009.018);
Other people who live with or show an interest in the claimant (MS INTRANETERPS 009.019);
Miscellaneous information that includes why the applicant will be the best payee and how the applicant intends to meet the needs of the beneficiary (MS INTRANETERPS 009.008);
Printing the SSA-11 and Attestation (MS INTRANETERPS 009.021).
Using the Search/View/Update/Applications” function updates applications that are pending.
The “Search/View/Update” function allows you to make changes to a beneficiary currently served by a payee or a payee who is currently serving a beneficiary.
To update a payee who is currently serving a beneficiary you should use “Search/View/Update” from the eRPS home screen (MS INTRANETERPS 001.002). The “Search/View/Update” is equivalent to a P/E action in RPS.
NOTE: Search/View/Update is different than “Search/View/Update/Applications”
You can search by the beneficiary SSN or name, individual representative payee SSN or name, organizational payee name, or zip code. The “Beneficiary/Payee Search” will display all relationships associated with the SSN. Once a payee is serving the beneficiary, you can update the payee/beneficiary information under Case Details.
For example, a search by an individual payee’s SSN will display a list of beneficiaries the payee is currently serving, all terminated relationships, and all non-selections.
C. Additional Processing Reminders
1. SSI Claims
Whether taking an SSI claim in the Modernized SSI Claims System (MSSICS) or a non-MSSICS method, complete the payee application on the eRPS. (This includes applications from parents for minor children).
2. Beneficiary has Multiple Entitlements
Only one payee application is needed for all entitlements. You must appoint the same representative payee for all entitlements. In the eRPS, use the Entitlements Information screen to indicate all known entitlements this application covers (for further instructions see MS INTRANETERPS 009.018). Generally, all eligible entitlements should be indicated even if payment is not currently being made (e.g., SD, AD, etc.).
If a payee application in eRPS for one type of benefit is still pending when the second application is filed, consider the claims concurrent. Update the Claimant Entitlements screen with the new entitlement information
NOTE: If a beneficiary with a payee later becomes entitled to another benefit, the payee is required to file another payee application to be appointed on the new record (for further instructions see GN 00502.107A.1). The new application will be processed following normal procedures.
3. Applicant Filing for More than one Minor Child in a household (Kiddie Loop)
Use the “kiddie loop” shortcut function in the eRPS when one applicant files to be payee for more than one beneficiary (for further instruction see MS INTRANETERPS 009.002). You can use this shortcut even if the beneficiaries are entitled on different account numbers as long as they reside in the same household
On the Introduction screen, eRPS will ask: “Is the applicant applying to represent multiple minor children in his or her household?” If you select “yes” eRPS will allow you to add the additional claimant/s.
4. Minor Children Approaching Age 18
Be aware of the ages of minor children when you are processing applications in the eRPS.
NOTE: If the child is not age 18 when the application is taken but attains age 18 by the time the claim is processed and a payee is named, the eRPS cannot recognize that advance notice to the child is needed.
Unless the age 18 or over child is legally incompetent, send a manual advance notice to the now-18 or older child (for Final Notices see GN 00503.130).
REMEMBER: An adult is an individual age 18 or over. All adults, unless declared legally incompetent, must be sent advance notice of payee selection.
5. Surviving Parent in Same Household (Title II)
When a parent who is serving as a payee for their minor child or incapable Childhood Disability Beneficiary (CDB) dies, the child’s benefits are systematically suspended (S8/S08) until a new payee application is taken and approved by the FO. If there is a surviving parent, contact them to determine if he or she wishes to file to be payee and process the payee application per GN 00502.107.
NOTE: A face-to-face interview is generally required as provided in GN 00502.113.
REMINDER: The Selection-Decision screen (MS INTRANETERPS 012.002) in the eRPS permits the FO to suppress the notice normally generated to the former (deceased) payee by the Title II Redesign program.
6. Room and Board Residence Operator is Applicant
When the payee applicant is a room and board residence operator, enter “self” as the custodian (custody code “SEL”) on the Custodian screen (MS INTRANETERPS 009.006).
NOTE: Even though the beneficiary lives in the same dwelling with the room and board residence operator, the beneficiary is considered to be living by himself or herself in his or her own apartment since the room and board operator generally does not have responsibility for the beneficiary’s care and welfare.
REMEMBER: A room and board operator is almost always a creditor and therefore you must investigate payee suitability thoroughly before approving it as payee (for creditor information see GN 00502.135). Be sure to answer “Yes” to the creditor question on the Miscellaneous screen (MS INTRANETERPS 009.008) screen.
7. Legal Guardian
The questions in the eRPS on the Court-Appointed Legal Guardian Details screen (MS INTRANETERPS 009.007) gather information about the beneficiary’s court-appointed guardian, conservator, or other similar position.
Do NOT use these fields to enter data about an appointed attorney representative. Enter only information about the guardian or other similarly appointed person.
NOTE: You must obtain proof of the court order. For a list of all guardian titles, see GN 00502.300 - Digest of State Guardianship Laws.
8. Developing Lay Evidence of Capability
The Capability screen (MS INTRANETERPS 009.017) asks for reasons why the claimant/beneficiary is unable to handle his or her own funds. Although several of the most common answers are displayed, do NOT choose one of these answers solely on the basis of the disability determined or alleged. Obtain the answer to this question in the applicant’s own words. If the applicant responds using one of the answers displayed, record that as the answer. If the applicant says something different, use the “Other” field, recording the applicant’s answer and using the Remarks for the Application (SSA-11) screen (MS INTRANETERPS 009.020) if needed.
After the applicant completes an application, an applicant may call or visit the FO about the status of their application. You should tell the applicant their application is in one of the following three statuses:
FO instructions for phone inquiries about an application status:
IMPORTANT: You must verify the identity of any caller before disclosing any information. For information about identifying individuals requesting disclosure of personally identifiable information over the phone, see GN 03380.010B.2. When there are multiple applicants, you must only disclose the information related to that caller’s application.
Always advise the payee applicant that the beneficiary has the right to access information about the payee that is in the beneficiary’s record.
NOTE: If the payee applicant does not want his or her address and phone number accessible to the beneficiary, the payee may request SSA to only enter the organization’s address and phone number on the eRPS. (For access rights see GN 03340.005B.)
For example, a volunteer payee from the Association for Disabled Persons may choose to have the Association’s address or phone number entered on the eRPS in place of his or her own personal address or phone number. Also, in rare instances, a payee may consider using a P.O. Box, instead of his or her street address.
10. Beneficiary Dies Before Application is Processed
If the beneficiary dies before the SSA-11 is completely processed, non-select the applicant for reason of “incomplete,” and notify the payee applicant of the action taken. (For further instructions, see MS INTRANETERPS 013.001 and MS INTRANETERPS 013.002.)
If the applicant dies before the SSA-11 is processed, you need to non-select the applicant and develop for another suitable payee or consider direct payment, if applicable.
11. If the Applicant Dies Before Claim is Processed
If the payee applicant dies before the SSA-11 is processed, you need to non-select the applicant and develop for another suitable payee or initiate direct payment, unless an exception to direct payment is met.
D. Procedure - Signature and Retention Requirements
Effective 11/19/05, the eRPS changed to allow applications to be signed by signature proxy. The application is stored electronically in the Online Retrieval System (ORS). The signature method eliminates the need to obtain “wet signatures” and to store the paper application (for alternative signature method see GN 00502.110).
a. Face-to-Face Interview
Most representative payee applications must be taken in a face-to-face interview setting with the payee applicant. The “Attestation script” is displayed in the eRPS application path on the Print SSA-11 screen (MS INTRANETERPS 009.021).
Read the Attestation script to the applicant.
Once the application is completed, print the application from the Print and Attest screen (MS INTRANETERPS 009.021).
A cover notice, the application, and the reporting responsibilities section are printed. Give both documents to the applicant for review.
NOTE: The entire SG-SSA-11, including the reporting responsibilities section, is given to the applicant to keep. SSA no longer retains the paper SG- SSA-11.
b. SSA-11 Taken Over the Phone or via Video Service Delivery (VSD)
In cases where the interview is taken over the phone or via VSD, the process is the same as above except you read the responses from the SG-SSA-11 back to the applicant for confirmation. For information on when an application may be taken via telephone or VSD see GN 00502.113B.3 and GN 00502.113.B.4. Discard the cover notice produced by the eRPS and print the cover notice contained in the Document Processing System (DPS). Mail the SG-SSA-11 and cover notice to the applicant.
a. Signature Taken During Face-to-Face Interview
If the applicant insists on signing the paper SG-SSA-11, allow them to do so. Give the signed SG-SSA-11 back to the applicant.
For applications that cannot be taken through the eRPS (e.g., undocumented aliens), you must have the applicant sign the paper SSA-11-BK. SSA must retain these forms through the Non-Disability Repository for Evidentiary Documents (NDRED) using the Claims File User Interface (CFUI) or Electronic Disability Claims Folder eDIB (for further instructions see GN 00301.322).
NOTE: Faxed, mailed, or dropped off SSA-11’s are leads. You must follow up with a face-to-face interview, telephone interview or video service delivery (VSD) interview. For information on subsequent face-to face interviews see GN 00502.113B.2.
If the applicant insists on signing the paper SG-SSA-11, allow them to do so. Receipt in the “ATTEST” issue and give the signed SG-SSA-11 back to the applicant.
eRPS Search Overview screen, MS INTRANETERPS 007.001
eRPS Workload Management Overview screen, MS INTRANETERPS 008.001
eRPS Application Overview screen, MS INTRANETERPS 009.001
Criminal Information Overview screen, MS INTRANETERPS 010.001
Bank Information Overview screen, MS INTRANETERPS 011.001
Organization/Institutional Rep Payee Overview screen, MS INTRANETERPS 014.001
Rep Payee/Beneficiary/Relationship Details Overview screen, MS INTRANETERPS 020.001
Print SSA-11 screen, MS INTRANETERPS 009.021.
Alternative Signatures, GN 00201.015
The Representative Payee Application, GN 00502.107
Advance Notice, GN 00503.100
Interviewing the Payee Applicant, GN 00502.113