WHAT IS A DEDICATED ACCOUNT?

A dedicated account is a separate financial institution account that the representative payee of a disabled child under age 18 is required to open, when the child is eligible for large past-due payments (usually any payment covering more than 6 months at the current benefit rate). 

The past–due payments will be deposited directly into that "dedicated account", and the use of these funds is restricted.

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WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ACCOUNT?

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    A dedicated account must be separate from the account used for the regular monthly benefit payment and can only be a checking, savings, or money market account.

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    Other funds, except for certain past–due Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, cannot be commingled with the funds in the dedicated account.

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    The account cannot be in the form of certificates of deposit, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, or trusts.

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    The title must show the child owns the funds, including interest.

HOW CAN YOU USE THE MONEY IN THE DEDICATED ACCOUNT?

You can use the money only for the following expenses:

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    medical treatment; and

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    education or job skills training.

We also allow the following expenses, if they benefit the child and are related to the child's impairment:

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    personal needs or assistance (for example, in–home nursing care);

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    special equipment;

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    housing modification;

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    therapy or rehabilitation; or

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    other items or services approved by your local Social Security office, like legal fees incurred by the child in establishing a claim for disabled child's benefits.

You may not use these monies for basic monthly maintenance costs such as food, clothing, or shelter. You must use the regular monthly SSI benefit for the child's food, clothing, or shelter.

If there are any questions on use of the funds, contact your local Social Security office.

HOW WILL SOCIAL SECURITY MONITOR THE DEDICATED ACCOUNT?

Each year, we will require the representative payee to complete a report on the use of the dedicated account funds as well as the regular monthly benefits received on the child's behalf.

Therefore, it is very important for the representative payee to keep receipts, bank statements, and maintain an expense record for at least two years as verification of expenditures. The representative payee should be able to provide Social Security with an explanation of any expenditure and how it relates to the child's disability.

    NOTE If there is a change of representative payee and a dedicated account exists, the former representative payee must complete a final accounting of the funds and return the balance of the account to us. We will then transfer the funds to a new dedicated account opened by the new representative payee.

Furthermore, after the child turns 18 and even if he or she is his or her own representative payee, the dedicated account provision still applies to the existing account. Money can only be withdrawn in accordance with the dedicated account guidelines.


THIS INFORMATION IS GENERAL.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL 1–800–772–1213 (TTY 1–800–325–0778),
VISIT OUR WEBSITE (www.socialsecurity.gov) ON THE INTERNET,
OR CONTACT YOUR LOCAL SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICE.