What is a dedicated savings account?
A dedicated savings account is an account that the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires a parent or representative payee to establish for a child who is entitled to back benefits that exceed six times the maximum monthly payment. Once you have established the dedicated savings account, the SSA will direct deposit any back benefits into this account.
Can the dedicated account be a checking account?
Yes, a dedicated account can be a checking account, savings account or money market account.
Can money in this account be used for regular food, clothing, rent or mortgage payments?
No. This money can only be used for food or shelter if there is an EMERGENCY situation that could cause your child to become homeless or malnourished.
What can the money in the account be used for?
The money in the account can only be used for the benefit of your child and for the following expenses:
Medical treatment and education or job skills training if it is related to the child’s impairment; Personal needs assistance; Special equipment; Housing modifications; Therapy or rehabilitation.
Are there other items and services related to the child’s impairment that SSA determines to be appropriate?
Other items and services include:
- Special foods if your child needs a special diet;- Special clothes, such as adult size pants with a snap crotch for older children who wet or soil their pants;- Increased electric bills from needed mechanical devices;- Special day care and recreation that is not part of a special education program;- Food and veterinary care for a guide dog;- Repair of walls, carpets or furnishings that have been damaged by a child with a mental impairment;- Counseling, crisis intervention services, a professional family care giver, and therapeutic foster care, if not covered by health insurance or a public service program;- Personal aids to help your child live and learn, such as assistive technology for communication and mobility, modified instructional material and specialized transportation;- Repayment of money owed to a person or agency if the items or services provided were related to the child’s impairment and benefitted the child.
BE SURE YOU KEEP RECEIPTS FOR ALL THE MONEY SPENT OUT OF A DEDICATED SAVINGS ACCOUNT!
How long must I keep the dedicated savings account?
The restrictions on the money last until all the money is spent or your child is no longer eligible for SSI, whichever comes first.
Do I have to report how I spend this money?
Yes. You must keep records of all the deposits to the account and you have to keep receipts for all for all the money you spend from the account. You must submit these records to the SSA upon request.
What if I have spent money from the account that is not allowed by the SSA?
If you have spent money from the account in a way that is not allowed by SSA there may have been a misapplication of benefits. If the SSA finds there was a misapplication of benefits, you will owe the SSA the amount of money that was misapplied. If you disagree with their determination you can (and should) pursue your appeal rights outlined in the notice you receive. Be sure to meet all time deadlines.
Is the money in the dedicated account (and any interest) part of the SSI resource limit?
No. The money in the account is excluded from the SSI resource limits and must remain separate from all other money.
Can any other money be kept in the dedicated account?
No. Only money from past due benefits may be kept in the dedicated savings account.
What if I am not sure about something I want to use the money for?
If you have questions about what the money in the account can be used for, contact your SSA office before you spend the money to make sure that there is no misapplication of funds. Keep a record of who you spoke with and the date and time of the call.