Benefit Payments Managed by Representative Payees of Children in California’s Foster Care Program

Date: 
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Management Issue: 
Report Number: 
A-13-13-23029
Report Type: 
Audit Report
Office Affiliation: 

SSA selects representative payees for individuals who are not able to manage or direct the management of their finances because of their youth or mental and/or physical impairment. According to SSA, foster care agencies have traditionally been among its most dependable payees. State foster care agencies may not always know whether the child is receiving SSA payments. States can use SSA’s State Verification and Exchange System (SVES) to determine whether the child is receiving Social Security payments.

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) supervises the foster care program throughout the State. However, county agencies administer the program.

We performed a computerized comparison of foster care data with SSA’s beneficiary records to identify children served by representative payees who were not the county agency or foster care parents.