What Percent of Survivors Benefits Should Be Used for Bills, Food and Items for Children?


Quick Answer

All survivor's benefits that a child receives from the Social Security Administration should be used for bills, food and items for that child, according to the SSA. Any balance remaining after the child's immediate needs are met should be saved for the child's future expenses. The funds are not to be used for pay for items for caregivers or other family members, or in a way that is not in keeping with the child's best interests.

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Full Answer

When a beneficiary, such as a child, is incapable of managing their own benefits, they are appointed a representative payee. The job of a representative payee is to act of the behalf of a beneficiary and to be responsible for everything related to their benefits, notes the SSA. This includes determining the beneficiary's needs and using their benefits to meet those needs, including food, clothing, shelter, dental and medical care, and personal comfort items. Any balance remaining after the beneficiary's needs have been met should be saved or invested in their future. One such example would be placing the unused funds in an interest-bearing savings account, or investing them into government-issued savings bonds.

A representative payee is under no circumstances to allot funds for their own personal use, or spend them in such a way that would cause the beneficiary to do without necessary items or services, states the SSA. They are not entitled to collect a fee for their services, unless they are a qualified organizational payee who has applied and been approved by the SSA. However, a payee is entitled to reimbursement for any reasonable out-of-pocket costs they incurred while performing their duties as payee. The amounts must be verifiable through receipts and records must be kept of all reimbursements.

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