Oregon Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Programs
Use of Money Available for a Child
Money in the maintenance account is available to provide for the current needs of the child. The following transactions may be processed against the child’s maintenance account;
Retroactive Lump Sum Benefits. The Department may use retroactive lump sum benefits either from federal benefits or support to offset the cost of care as follows:
Federal benefits may be applied retroactively back to the initial date of paid placement;
Retroactive support benefits may be applied back to the date of the court order ordering support or date of substitute care placement whichever date is later;
For th Department to be reimbursed from arrears maintenance money prior to July 1, 1984, a Financial Accounting as outlined in Section G or H must be completed and a CF 198, payable to the Department must be processed;
If the lump sum benefit is not equal to the Department cost of care, the application is to be applied back as far as possible. If the lump sum benefit is greater than the Department’s cost of care, the balance will be left in the maintenance account to cover future costs.NOTE: The Social Security Administration provides a publication, “Your Duties as a Representative Payee,” which is available upon request through your local Social Security office. A copy will be kept in the branch office for reference.
Trust Fund Applications. Following each check run the amounts paid by the Department for the child’s cost of care are automatically compared to the balance in the child’s trust maintenance account. If the cost of care exceeds the balance, the entire trust maintenance balance will be applied. If the cost of care is less than the maintenance balance, the cost of care will be deducted from the account with the balance remaining for future use. The application shall not exceed the cost of care:
Foster Care: Payments generated from the CF 308, Plan/Service Authorization are made at the end of every month and the application will be for the same month that the payment references.For Example: A 308 may generate a foster care payment dated 5⁄31/85 for May 1985 care. The foster care application on 5⁄31/85 will deduct amounts from the maintenance account to reimburse the Department for May 1985 care;
Purchase of Care Payments: Applications for Purchase of Care payments are made for the prior month. Invoices for purchased services are received for payment at the first of every month. Payment is then made to the provider for the prior month’s care. Money available in the maintenance account is deducted for the month the payment was made.For Example: Cost of care for May 1985 is billed to the agency on June 1, 1985 and payment is made in June. At that time the cost of May care is compared to the balance in the maintenance account and the application is made to reimburse the Department for May 1985 care;
Trust Application Registers: A trust application Register is received in Central Trust Section daily. This report is reviewed to insure that the applications against the Maintenance Accounts were appropriate and accurate.
Misapplications. If a payment is made under the wrong case number in error, the application will also be made to the wrong Trust Account. When this happens a reverse application must be made by Central Office. To initiate a reverse application the branch must prepare a memo to the manager of Accounting Services stating the circumstances of the misapplication, month(s) involved, amount(s), incorrect case number, correct case number, name of the payee, payee number and child’s name;
Manual Maintenance Payments. Children in the Department’s custody who have been moved from a paid placement to an unpaid placement may have monthly needs met from their Maintenance Account. The caseworker must determine that a financial need exists and document this need in the child’s case file. (Also see SSI Regulations — Guidelines — Limitations in E.3. e, f, and g below.) The caseworker must complete a CF 198 any month money is to be forwarded to the non-Department paid home or facility. The maximum amount to be forwarded shall not exceed the month’s benefit or the foster care rate established by the Department for the child, whichever is the lesser.NOTE: Court ordered support may not be used for this purpose.
Money Received for a Special Purpose. Money deposited in the special account is designated for a specific purpose with the exception of interest earnings prior to 4-1-82. When money is expended for the specified purpose, documentation is to be maintained in the child’s case file. Money from the child’s special account shall not to be used to offset the cost of care:
Money Transferred to the Department With the Child: When a child enters the Department custody and brings an amount of money with him/her, it must be deposited in the child’s special account unless specified by court order or other documentation that the money is available for maintenance of the child;
Inheritance: If a child in SOSCF custody receives an inheritance, and a conservator is not appointed, these funds are to be deposited in the child’s special account unless there is evidence that the money is available for the maintenance of the child.
Restitution. When a child is mandated by a judge to repay for damages caused to a person or property only the child’s earnings deposited in his special account may be used;
Special Account money does not include:
Any portion of a child’s benefits or support money. Any benefit or support (OAR 413-310-0460 (Obtaining Money on a Child’s Behalf)) received, which is in excess of the monthly maintenance costs, may not be deposited into the special account. Excess benefits/support must be left in the maintenance account to meet the current, future and past cost of care needs of the child. If any such items are found in the special account, they must be transferred to the maintenance account with any accrued interest;
SSI Weatherization. In Late 1979 and early 1980 the Social Security Administration awarded an additional month’s benefit to SSI recipients to be used on behalf of the recipient to acquire items in preparation for winter weather. This additional benefit should have been credited into the maintenance account. If the benefit is found to be credited to the special account it must be transferred to the maintenance account with any accrued interest;
Interest Earnings (other than special). Prior to April 1982, interest earned on both the maintenance and special account balances was posted to the special account only. When preparing financial or final accountings and it is discovered that interest earned on the maintenance account balance was posted to the special account and the money remains in the special account, that amount of money must be transferred to the maintenance account.
SSI Regulations — Guidelines — Limitations:
Eligibility for SSI benefits is to be terminated any time a child’s assets (Department Trust Account) reach the following balance on the first day of a calendar month:Prior to 1-1-85 — $1,500;Beginning 1-1-85 — $1,600;Beginning 1-1-86 — $1,700;Beginning 1-1-87 — $1,800;Beginning 1-1-88 — $1,900;Beginning 1-1-89 — $2,000;
Exceptions to the limit are:
Lump sum benefits received from Social Security Administration for back SSI benefits. The agency is allowed six months to reduce the trust balance below the asset limitation.
Funds in a separate irrevocable Trust Account;
Court ordered support (see subsection (d) of this rule);
Any SSI money received after reaching the limitation must be returned to the Social Security Administration until the aset limitation is reduced below the limitation and SSI has completed a re-evaluation and reinstated the grant.
Trust Accounts with a Balance of $1,000 or more. To monitor accounts approaching the SSI limitation, Report CPO313FI “Client Trust Account Monitoring Report” is produced monthly for each branch. It lists all trust accounts with a balance of $1,000. Each of the listed accounts are to be reviewed by the branch for the following:
Expenditures made by the Department for which reimbursement was not made;
Medical payments made by the Department for the child’s medical needs. If medical payments have been made but not charged to the Trust Account, money is to be drawn on the child’s account by preparing a CF 198 payable to the Department. (Contact the central trust clerk for detailed medical expenditures on specific cases);
Appointment of a Conservator. A conservator should be chosen for any child receiving SSI benefits when a large inheritance is received or when a Trust Account has money in excess of $1,000. A conservator may be a parent, relative, lawyer or other person who will establish an irrevocable trust on the child’s behalf. The irrevocable trust must not allow access to any money until the child reaches 18 years of age. Excess money should then be drawn from the Department Trust Account, by preparing a CF 198, payable to the conservator. The Department Trust Account should not be drawn below $500;
Support Not Considered Income for SSI. Court ordered support to satisfy the state debt incurred when a child is in a Department paid placement will not be considered income to a child for SSI benefit determinations;
Placement with a Relative. When a child is placed with a relative and is receiving SSI benefits, the Social Security Administration must be notified by the branch office so benefits can be reduced by 1⁄3. These reduced benefits may be forwarded by the branch to the relative if required to meet the child’s current needs. (See subsection (1)(e) of this rule, Manual Maintenance Payments);
Pre-Adoptive Status. When a child is placed in pre-adoptive status, the Social Security Administration must be notified by the branch office so SSI benefits can be reduced by 1⁄3. Monthly assistance for the amount of the Social Security benefit may be forwarded to the pre-adoptive parent if required to meet the child’s current needs. (See subsection (1)(e) of this rule, Manual Maintenance Payments);
Placement with Parent. When a child is placed with the parent(s) on a trial basis, Social Security Administration must be notified by the branch office. A complete redetermination of SSI eligibility will be made based upon the parent’s income plus any maintenance money which may be sent to the parent through the Department. If the redetermination finds the child eligible for SSI benefits and the money is required to meet the child’s current needs, the Department may forward the SSI benefits to the parent(s). (See subsection (1)(e) of this rule, Manual Maintenance Payments).