Oregon Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Programs
Clearing a Trust Account
When a child whose custody from the Department is terminated, the funds available in the Trust Account shall be disbursed and the account “zeroed out” using the following guidelines.
Prepare Closing Financial Accounting. In order to insure proper disbursement of Trust Account balances when a child leaves the Department’s custody, a closing financial accounting must be prepared. Starting with the first month and working forward, monthly expenditures will be reimbursed with maintenance money in the following priority:
Court ordered support;
Civil Service Annuities;
If a child has had interim financial accountings prepared, the closing financial accounting will only have to cover the period of time not covered by the interim accountings.
Maintenance Account. Where there is any balance in the Maintenance Account it must be analyzed to determine whether the balance represents money received while the child was in care and whether it should have been used to offset the cost of care:
Manual Application for Cost of Care:
If it is determined that part or all of the Maintenance Account balance should have been used to offset the cost of care, a CF 198 shall be prepared made payable to Department FC (Foster Care) or PC (Purchase of Care). If PC (Purchase of Care) include provider number and explain in Comments section of the CF 198 the period of time covered and amount of money applicable to each provider;
Manual Disbursing of Maintenance Account Balance. When it is determined that part or all of the balance in the Maintenance Account does not belong to the Department for cost of care, determine the source of the income and proceed as follows:
SSA and SSI. Conserved funds are to be disbursed back to the payor organization when Department custody of the child terminates:
Payor Organization: The Trust Clerk shall determine the type of Social Security funds and prepare a letter or CF 296 showing money received, disbursed, and the amount to be refunded. Include child’s name, claim number, and explanation of the refund. The Trust Clerk should then complete the CF 198 payable to the Social Security Administration, in care of “Claim Number.” Send the letter and the CF 198 to Central Office Trust Section. When the check is issued, the Department will send the letter and check to the appropriate agency;
Child or His/Her Guardian: The Department may not disburse excess benefits from SSI or SSA to the child or guardian without written authorization from the organization. If an extreme financial hardship will be placed upon the child or guardian, the branch office should contact the local benefactor organization by telephone or letter stating the circumstances, claim number, child’s name, and amount of excess benefits. When written authorization is received to release benefits to the child or child’s guardian the branch office will then initiate a CF 198, payable to the appropriate person. Send a copy of the written authorization and the CF 198 to the Department Central Trust Clerk.
If the balance represents support received after the child left custody it will be necessary to determine if those payments are for arrearages covering a period when the child was in care. Arrearages can be verified on the Department’s SMUX Screen. If the above information is not understood or is confusing, contact the Department’s Central Trust Clerk for assistance;
If the Department is not entitled to the current child support, the funds must stay in the account until returned to CSP. This occurs after the Support and Enforcement Division (SED) has been notified by the appropriate branch updating IIS showing that the child is no longer in Department custody. DCS will take the necessary steps to change the court order and CSP will enter the new order redirecting the support into their system. Since the Department is due maintenance money for any costs of care incurred during the last month that the child is in paid placement, the branch must notify the Central Trust Unit of costs outstanding. The Central Trust Unit will then notify CSP of the outstanding costs and they will retrieve the excess support and send it to the new obligee.
Other Support. Money received as voluntary support intended for maintenance of the child in an out-of-home care placement shall be disbursed to the parent/guardian or the child when Department custody of the child is terminated. A letter of explanation shall accompany the money.
Special Account. Balances in the Special Account are to be paid directly to the legal guardian or child as directed by the branch office. A letter of explanation shall be sent to the person(s) designated to receive this money.