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  • Christopher Le

Is Child SSI Payments for the benefit of the Child or for the Parent?

When a child is approved for SSI, SSA usually makes those cash benefits to a responsible person or organization, known as a representative payee. Typically, a parent or other relative with whom the child lives will serve as the payee. Whether a person or an organization, the payee must use the SSI payment for the benefit of the child and ensure that his or her current needs are met.


The payee’s main priority is to provide basic essentials such as: food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and personal comfort items for the child. Once these needs are met, the payee may spend funds on other items, such as life insurance, renovations needed to make the child's home safer or more accessible, furnishings for the child's use, medical equipment, dental care, and school expenses. If additional funds remain, the payee must save any funds not used for the child's current needs, and must account annually for how he or she used the SSI payments for the child.


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