I was wondering if anyone receives SSI for their difficult child. My difficult child started to receive SSI checks. I went to my bank and could not deposit it into my checking account because it had to be in difficult child's name. So, I opened a savings account. Then the lady told me to call Social Security and ask them if I had to account for everything I buy with this money. I thought this was Supplement Income and it was suppose to go for living expenses.

I was wondering the same thing, we have check into that for our difficult child, and also help from our public assistance office, are these two things the same??

No, SSI is with Social Security and Public Assistance is with Social Services.

Thanks Shiny. Just didn't want to get ourselves into trouble. Have enough of it.
But truly need a little help in the $$$ area with difficult child's bill and such even though we do have insurance it still is costly.

It's a good question. I've heard it answered both yes and no so I'm curious too.

when b was in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) we got ssi. we finally got someone to take his application and he was covered immediatly until 3 mo later he came home and we made too much for it to continue. so the check was in our name for him. he is 15 yrs old. you need to get them to put your name on the check since you are the guardian. also we paid his medication bills with it. i never kept a log. i don[t know why you would since you qualify

met someone today who received it every month till her child turned 18 4 yrs ago. she said that the paperwork at turning 18 asked for explanation of what the money had been used for over the years. There was also a thread a couple months ago where the Mom was told by SSI that it couldn't be used for household exp and that she would have to justify that it was used for medical needs of the child. I remember the discussion about a trampoline- could she get a dr to recommend it for therapy for the child. So I know it's come up before.

Here's a little info on SSI. Rep payee may get a form every year to account for money spent for living expenses,rent, utilities, food, clothing, personal expenses, educational materials, medical expenses and then what was saved for the person. It was my understanding that SSI could be used for rent, utilities for the child in the monthly checks, but if you receive a lump sum back payment check that can only be used for needs specific to the child--medical, educational etc. The account that is set up needs to be seperate from any checking accts that you may have for yourself, it can be in your name for the child as the beneficary.
They do not take into account a home that you live in as resources, but you cannot have over $2000 in liquidatable assests. A yearly redetermination will be done to see if the child is still disabled.

thank you qualifies for SSI while in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) - will not qualify due to our income once he comes home. The checks come to me "Susan XXXX for Tyler XXXX". I have deposited them before to write personal check to Residential Treatment Center (RTC) without a problem from the bank. Once a year I get a form to complete stating what the $$$ was spent on... easy for me since I just hand it over to Residential Treatment Center (RTC). They also specifically want to know if any was saved.

Weird about your bank... even the kid's b-day checks, which are made out to them, I deposit by signing "Susan XXX for minor child XXXX".

According to 20 CFR 416.640:

"...We will consider that payments we certify to a representive payee have been used for the use and benefit of the beneficiary if they are used for the beneficiary's current maintenance. Current maintenance includes costs incurred in obtaining food, shelter, clothing, medical care and personal comfort items..."

That's about as clear as the rule gets on WHAT you can spend the money on. Basically, as long as it is for the recipient's benefit, you're good.

A check for a child should be payable as follows: PARENT/REPRESENTATIVE NAME for CHILD'S NAME. When a child under 18 receives more than 6 months worth of past due benefits (or about $4000), then SSA can require you to set a "dedicated account" specifically for those back benefits. (Note...I think maybe this is up to the claims rep processing the claim because I have seen some clients who simply got a check and never heard a thing about dedicated accounts)

Otherwise, a child's check can be deposited into your own checking or savings account...there is no need to open one specifically for the child, although this may be easier for accounting purposes.

If you are required to have a dedicated account, THEN you get into the whole "medically necessary" debate. The rules for spending that money are a little different and the accounting requirements are a whole lot stricter. Money from dedicated accounts can only be spent on the following:

*Medical treatment and education or job skills training;

*If related to the child's impairment(s), personal needs assistance; special equipment; housing modification; and therapy or rehabilitation; or

*Other items and services related to the child's impairment(s) that we determine to be appropriate. The representative payee must explain why or how the other item or service relates to the impairment(s) of the child.

Once the money in the dedicated account is gone, the account can be closed and future benefit checks deposited into your own checking account and spent according to the first set of rules.

You should most certainly keep records of all expenditures of SSI money, dedicated account or not. By law, Social Security can ask you to account for the money at any time and you are required to cooperate with their request.

Also, because SSI is based on income, there is a lag in benefit calculations. Benefits for July are figured using May's income. For parents whose earnings change each pay period or who work sporadically, this can create significant overpayment issues. If an overpayment arises, you'll definately want to be prepared with information on where that money was spent as there will probably be an audit.

The accounting part of it really isn't hard if you keep it simple and think of it in everyday terms. You know what your total monthly expenses divide those by the total number of people in your home.'ve got your child's portion of the rent, food, etc. Extra money left over? Consider it used for "comfort items" such as clothing, CD's, books, movies, etc.

You can get pretty creative with this stuff. I allocate $60 a month for a cell phone so that my son (and his teachers) can always reach me. The rest goes toward after school care. I've had clients allocate money for a computer for the child, karate lessons or a second phone line for the disabled teenager.

Even if you have a dedicated account and an issue arises over the way you are spending the money, remember - everything is appealable. You can always request an appeal of the decision that the expense was not necessary. Administrative Law Judges are a whole lot more understanding about those types of things than some claims reps.

Marci Lyn

New Member
my sister got it for her son who had adhd, she did not have to record anything. Even on public assistance you do not have to do that!

we got a lump sum of 1800. one months of copays for medications was 500, over the year we have spent this much in our copays of dr visits, medications, therapy ect...

Thank You all for the replies. This is something I want to double check. In a way, I feel kinda uneasy right now.
I received 2 months back pay. PLus this months. I had opened a savings account under difficult child's name until I know what to do with it. Also, I put money into a money CD that withdrawls 15% of the checks each month. I can't touch it until the end of the year. We were looking to put up a fence along with our neighbors. That could be "medically neccessary". difficult child's therapists had requested us to do that.
Now, I took a little out and statring to feel guilty. Our car broke down and needs a water pump.
Last question? Should I keep receipts of all things spent?

I would get a big envelope and put all reciepts in there that way your safe until you know, and if need be to prove anything later you have them. However this is in my humble opinion and something that I would probably do. As I speak, I am printing all of this out for future reference for us later. All responses to your post are greatly appreciated for me as well /importthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Just thought I would jump in here since I have just gone through this. I am the one who OTE was mentioning regarding the trampoline.

My daughter got backpay for 15 months of SSI. I was required to open an dedicated account so they could electronically deposit this backpay in it...couldn't get the backpay until I opened the account and took the information to them. Yes, the letter does say that I have to only use this money for medically necessary things and the other things listed in the one post above. I have to keep receipts for everything so anytime they ask me to I can prove where her money went.

There is a rep at the local SSA office here that I have to approve any expenditures that don't fall under the medical and other things listed in her letter. I requested reimbursement for gas and meals for the 15 months covered in her backpay since I take her out of town to see a psychologist and for medication management. I listed the number of out of town visits along with the amount for gas and a meal ($30), listed when I had to replace tires during that time frame, and when I had to replace the cooling fan on my car. Gave a total. In that same letter I asked to buy a computer and printer for my daughter since she has accomodations written into her IEP for being able to type some of her schoolwork. I also asked for a trampoline and safety net for it as a therapeutic way for her to use up energy after keeping it together all day at school. I think at this point my argument was also "energy that otherwise might be spent in aggressive actions". A few days after I hand delivered the letter, I called the rep to ask whether she had made a decision. She said she hadn't really had time to look at it, but she would glance through it as we were on the phone. Immediately she told me the computer, printer, trampoline, and safety net would be approved, but to be sure and keep receipts. Took another couple of weeks and several phone calls before she approved the reimbursement for gas and meals. In the meantime my car had broken down...the voltage regulator had gone out. On one of the days I called to find out if she had made a decision on the gas reimbursement it happened to be the day after my car quit. So since she hadn't decided on the reimbursement I asked her about my car repair and told her I didn't have the money to repair it and had no way to get my daughter to appointments or school. She approved the repair. Again just told me to keep receipts of everything.
Now this same rep had told me that even though I don't own my is my dad's...that I can make repairs to my plumbing that barely works and use some of difficult child's money since she will benefit from it. So even though I have to get things approved and have to keep receipts, it really isn't anything too bad.

By the way...two important things that were in my regarding the dedicated account. My letter merely states that if you knowingly spend money out of the dedicated account that isn't for the approved things, you can be required to pay it back out of your own personal funds. It doesn't say you will lose the SSI or even the remainder of the dedicated account and certainly not that there are charges related to this...just that you will have to pay it back. The other thing is I was told that her monthly checks were for her expenses related to shelter, food, clothing and such and I didn't have to account for that. I do not have to have a seperate checking account for that or keep receipts.

Hope this helps rather than got rather long.



New Member
HI all,

My difficult child gets SSI supplemental too! I kept receipts for a long time but, they have never asked for any! A few tricks I have learned over the years is:

1)If it is based on your income, I send in my paystubs monthly, they stamp a paper that goes with them along with a stamped envelope.(they supply envelope & ID paper) The paystubs for say, April are what your payment will be for June!

2)If I ever have any extra money in my checking account where his direct deposit goes then, I withdraw it and use the cash for groceries or bills. Use money orders! Even if I have paid all my bills and I know that my checking account has .66 cents they use the last balance on my checking statement! It can mess me up as it could look like I have more money then I actually have!

My SSI worker is very nice and helpful. I can call her and ask her if I do (A) what would happen? She will answer me very honestly.

Sometimes they come back & say I was over paid for a month or whatever due to making too much and she told me never offer to pay out of my own money. Let them take the money out of his future checks. They can only take I think 10% a month as long as his SSI continues.

I hope this helps some! If anyone has any questions please email me as I usually don't go back & re read posts.


New Member
my difficult child got SSI for several months when he first got home from the hospital, they had told me to spend it on things he needed or they would otherwise consider it "savings" but to keep all receipts because it would need to be accounted for. Well I think we recieved about 6 months worth and spent it, then I received a letter saying we had made to much money and had to give it back, AFTER WE HAD BEEN told to spend it, ooooh!! So we paid it back and even tho I don't work full time anymore I decided no way are we going thru that again, until he is 18 and our wages won't affect him.

I just was wondering what effect this has on a persons taxes if there are any?? Tryin to find out all I can so that we know where we stand and if this is something that we should do. Of course any help is better than none /importthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif