US Government Information/Direct deposit
QUESTION: I live in the Philippines and have a son who was born here. I got all necessary documents and he is now a U.S. citizen. I got his social security # and he is also approved for monthly benefits under my account.
My problem is, a reputable bank here in Cebu excepted the direct deposit for my son..All necessary papers was signed and the direct deposit was approved by the bank on September 03, 2012.
The first accumulated amount was deposited into my sons account along with the first monthly payment.
Before I proceed any further, the account name is under my girlfriends, (not married yet but to be), in care of my son's since he is a minor and she is the biological mother.
Now the Cebu branch just called yesterday and told my girlfriend that the Manila Main Office can's except a bi-account ( or care of account ). We are about to receive a monthly deposit in 2 days and asked the bank what's going to happen to the direct deposit, and their response was they are going to except the deposit and close the account, we did not have any notice that this will happen till the 31st, of October, 2012.
I put a lot of time, money and effort to set my son's account without any kind of notice or giving us a little time to go to another bank. Can they do this???
Thank you and I would appreciate your reply.
Sincerely Roy H. Morimoto
ANSWER: The bank can close the account if they think that it is not titled correctly. If the account is a checking account it should not matter that it is a joint account per Social Security rules. When the benefits go to a checking account it is assumed that all money will be spent during the month for the child's care. Any money not spent is to be kept in a savings type account. The savings account must be properly titled to show that the money belongs to the child and not the child's mother. Social Security rules show the following information:
1. Account Titling
The preferred account title is (Name of Beneficiary) by (Name of Representative Payee) representative payee.
Other forms of accounts that establish a fiduciary interest for the beneficiary are also acceptable. For example, (Name of Beneficiary) by (Name of Representative Payee) guardian, when the payee is the court-appointed guardian. The same format may be used for a court-appointed committee, conservator, or other representative, provided it shows that the representative payee is acting only in a fiduciary capacity for the beneficiary.
Proper account titling affords Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) protection with FDIC-insured financial institutions. Proper account titling also protects beneficiary funds from claims by a payee’s creditor.
For additional information, see –“Collective Savings and Checking Accounts” (GN 00603.020).
Exception for parents and spouses
There is an exception to the general rule that the account title must show the beneficiary's ownership of the funds in the account. All of the following conditions must be met for this exception to apply:
The payee is the spouse or the natural or adoptive parent or stepparent of the beneficiary;
The payee and the beneficiary live in the same household;
The payee requests direct deposit to the payee's personal checking account; and
The Field Office (FO) has verified with the payee that benefits will be used for the beneficiary's current expenses and there will be no accumulation of funds in the account.
This exception applies for any category of Title II or Title XVI benefits. The beneficiary does not need to be receiving benefits as a disabled/blind child or disabled adult child. The age of the “child” is not material. For additional information, see “Exception” (GN 02402.055A.3.)
NOTE: The above exception does not apply to savings accounts. A natural or adoptive parent or stepparent, or spouse with custody of the beneficiary, must set up individual savings accounts for each beneficiary. The savings account title must show beneficiary ownership.
I would simply go to the bank and open a new account that is properly titled so that the check next month can go to the new account if this one is closed.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: The money direct deposited into the bank goes to a savings account and in my girlfriends name so she can withdraw the money as needed, doctors, medications, food for baby, etc. (all receipts are kept for our son's use #
Since the savings passbook cna not be used for purchases, per the banks instruction, we opened another account # checking and debit )under my girlfriends name so she can withdraw for our sons necesary daily use, if the savings account was under my sons name, how do we withdraw money for his on going expenses.
The bank said that we should withdraw all the money from the savings account since it's going to be closed and deposit into the second account ( which is under my girlfriends name #, so she can withdraw as needed. This is all fine but where does the Social Security direct deposit the monthly checks into??? How do I contact Social Security to make this change when the phones are not answered? Where do I get the documents to make this change of account to receive the monthly benefits for my son??
Would it be better and faster if we went to Manila to make these changes??, if so how do we contact the person who helped us, # I do have her name and address )
Sincerely Roy H. Morimoto
When the account is titled mother representative for daughter, the mother does have access to the account. You will need to call Social Security and report the changed bank account number. If you have a password you can change online at www.socialsecurity.gov