20 CFR § 266.10 - Use of benefit payments.

§ 266.10 Use of benefit payments.

(a) Current maintenance. Payments made to an individual as representative payee on behalf of an annuitant shall be considered as having been applied for the use and benefit of the annuitant when they are used for the annuitant's current maintenance. Current maintenance includes costs incurred in obtaining food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and personal comfort items.

An aged annuitant is entitled to a monthly railroad retirement benefit of $800. His son, who is his representative payee, disburses his benefits in the following manner:
Rent and utilities
The above expenditures would represent proper disbursements on behalf of the annuitant.

(b) Institutional care. If an annuitant is receiving care in a Federal, state, or private institution because of mental or physical incapacity, current maintenance includes the customary charges made by the institution in providing care and maintenance, as well as expenditures for those items which will aid in the annuitant's recovery or release from the institution or expenses for personal needs which will improve the annuitant's conditions while in the institution.

(c) Support of legal dependents. If the current maintenance needs of the annuitant are met, the representative payee may use part of the payments for the support of the annuitant's legally dependent spouse, child, and/or parent.

(d) Claims of creditors. Where a debt arose prior to the first month for which benefits are certified to a representative payee, the representative payee may satisfy such debt out of present benefit payments only if the current and reasonably foreseeable needs of the annuitant are met.

A retroactive railroad retirement annuity check in the amount of $2,100, representing benefits due for November 1989 through January 1990, was issued on behalf of the annuitant to the annuitant's daughter, who is the representative payee. The check was certified in February 1990. The nursing home, where the annuitant resides, is owed money for maintenance expenses the annuitant incurred prior to February 1990.

If the accrual is not required for the annuitant's current maintenance and the annuitant had no foreseeable needs which would require large disbursements, the expenditure of the accrual or part thereof for the past due maintenance charges would be consistent with the Board's guidelines.