§ 416.545. Paying large past-due benefits in installments.

(a) General. Except as described in paragraph (c) of this section, when an individual is eligible for past-due benefits in an amount which meets the formula in paragraph (b) of this section, payment of these benefits must be made in installments. If an individual becomes eligible for past-due benefits for a different period while installments are being made, we will notify the individual of the amount due and issue these benefits in the last installment payment. The amounts subject to payment in installments include:

(1) Benefits due but unpaid which accrued prior to the month payment was effectuated;

(2) Benefits due but unpaid which accrued during a period of suspension for which the recipient was subsequently determined to have been eligible; and

(3) Any adjustment to benefits which results in an accrual of unpaid benefits.

(b) Installment formula. Installment payments must be made if the amount of the past-due benefits, including any federally administered State supplementation, after applying § 416.525 (reimbursement to States for interim assistance) and applying § 416.1520 (payment of attorney fees), equals or exceeds 3 times the Federal Benefit Rate plus any federally administered State supplementation payable in a month to an eligible individual (or eligible individual and eligible spouse). These installment payments will be paid in not more than 3 installments and made at 6-month intervals. Except as described in paragraph (d) of this section, the amount of each of the first and second installment payments may not exceed the threshold amount of 3 times the maximum monthly benefit payable as described in this paragraph.

(c) Exception—When installments payments are not required. Installment payments are not required and the rules in this section do not apply if, when the determination of an underpayment is made, the individual is (1) afflicted with a medically determinable impairment which is expected to result in death within 12 months, or (2) ineligible for benefits and we determine that he or she is likely to remain ineligible for the next 12 months.

(d) Exception—Increased first and second installment payments. (1) The amount of the first and second installment payments may be increased by the total amount of the following debts and expenses:

(i) Outstanding debt for food, clothing, shelter, or medically necessary services, supplies or equipment, or medicine; or

(ii) Current or anticipated expenses in the near future for medically necessary services, supplies or equipment, or medicine, or for the purchase of a home.

(2) The increase described in paragraph (d)(1) of this section only applies to debts or expenses that are not subject to reimbursement by a public assistance program, the Secretary of Health and Human Services under title XVIII of the Act, a State plan approved under title XIX of the Act, or any private entity that is legally liable for payment in accordance with an insurance policy, pre-paid plan, or other arrangement.

[61 FR 67206, Dec. 20, 1996, as amended at 76 FR 453, Jan. 5, 2011; 79 FR 33685, June 12, 2014]