When a parent dies, a minor child might be able to receive 75 percent of the parent's Social Security benefit. These funds are managed by a "representative payee" who must account for the use of the funds specifically through the use of an annual form that must be submitted to the Social Security Administration every year. Keeping track of receipts throughout the year can help you calculate the totals to include on this form.
Food and Shelter
The Social Security Administration wants the benefits to go to provide financial support to children who have lost a parent who otherwise would have provided for them. For this reason, your child's everyday expenses are the first priority. These include housing and food expenses. Keep receipts for rent or mortgage. Also, keep receipts for food expenses that you incurred on behalf of your child.
The Social Security Administration's secondary goal is to ensure that survivors have adequate health care. Keep records for all health-related expenses, including check stubs that show paid insurance premiums, out-of-pocket medical expenses, dental expenses, prescription drugs and rehabilitation expenses if your child is disabled.
Education and Savings
Any receipts for expenses that are related to your child's education should also be kept. These items may include books, school supplies or tuition for private school. You may also use part of the benefits to save for your son's future. While the Social Security Administration recommends that savings be made through an interest-bearing savings bond, the annual Representative Payee report includes a place to allot any unused benefits and interest earned on that portion of the benefits.
Clothing and Recreation
Your son needs clothing as he grows, and you can keep receipts of these expenditures to help you record these periodic purchases. Additionally, your child needs to be entertained. Include receipts for items such as toys, movies and trips to the arcade. If your child does after-school activities such as sports, drama or academic clubs, keep up with these receipts.
The annual report includes a space for miscellaneous items. Include any other receipts that directly correspond with money that you spent for your son, such as personal hygiene items, grooming aids and other personal care items. Also, keep receipts for home utilities. If your son gets a large lump-sum payment, the Social Security Administration lets you improve your son's daily living conditions, such as investing money for him to get specialized training or additional medical treatments. Keep receipts if you purchase a vehicle for your son and receipts for all car-related expenses.
- Social Security Administration: Survivors Benefits
- Social Security Administration Guide for Representative Payees
- Social Security Administration: Representative Payee Report
- Office of the Inspector General of the Social Security Administration: Misuse of Benefits by a Representative Payee
- Social Security Administration: When a Representative Payee Manages Your Money
- The Door's Legal Services Center: Social Security Survivor Benefits
- Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images