On Monday, the House is expected to vote on a bill that makes reforms in oversight of representative payees and others who oversee recipients of Social Security benefits. The legislation H.R. 4547, Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act will change current law so that in instances when a Social Security beneficiary or SSI recipient is overpaid while in foster care, and the state foster care agency is the payee, the beneficiary or recipient would not be liable for any overpayment.

There have been instances of the Social Security Administration trying to recoup overpayments from the young person once they have exited foster care even though they did not benefit from the payments (with states collecting the payments to offset some state child welfare costs). Under the new provisions of the bill, the state foster care agency would be required to repay the SSA for the overpayment it received.

The bill, which deals with all recipients of Social Security benefits, would require SSA to enter monthly data exchanges with state foster care programs to identify when a child receiving Social Security benefits has entered or exited foster care, or changed foster care placement, and the SSA would be required to redetermine the appropriate representative payee when a change in placement occurred.