20 CFR § 404.2011 - What happens to your monthly benefits while we are finding a suitable representative payee for you?
(a) We may pay you directly. We will pay current monthly benefits directly to you while finding a suitable representative payee unless we determine that paying you directly would cause substantial harm to you. We determine substantial harm as follows:
(1) If you are receiving disability payments and we have determined that you have a drug addiction or alcoholism condition, or you are legally incompetent, or you are under age 15, we will presume that substantial harm exists. However, we will allow you to rebut this presumption by presenting evidence that direct payment would not cause you substantial harm.
(2) If you do not fit any of these categories, we make findings of substantial harm on a case-by-case basis. We consider all matters that may affect your ability to manage your benefits in your own best interest. We decide that substantial harm exists if both of the following conditions exist:
(b) We may delay or suspend your payments. If we find that direct payment will cause substantial harm to you, we may delay (in the case of initial entitlement to benefits) or suspend (in the case of existing entitlement to benefits) payments for as long as one month while we try to find a suitable representative payee for you. If we do not find a payee within one month, we will pay you directly. If you are receiving disability payments and we have determined that you have a drug addiction and alcoholism condition, or you are legally incompetent, or you are under age 15, we will withhold payment until a representative payee is appointed even if it takes longer than one month. We will, however, as noted in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, allow you to present evidence to rebut the presumption that direct payment would cause you substantial harm. See § 404.2001(b)(3) for our policy on suspending benefits if you are currently receiving benefits directly.
(c) How we pay delayed or suspended benefits. Payment of benefits, which were delayed or suspended pending appointment of a representative payee, can be made to you or your representative payee as a single sum or in installments when we determine that installments are in your best interest.