WAG 16-05-06.

Before establishing a protective payee, try to determine the cause of the mismanagement. Mismanagement may be caused by shelter costs that are too high. Mismanagement may be caused by utility costs that are too high because ineligible persons are in the home and are not contributing. Within the limits of available resources, counsel the client to try to arrive at a satisfactory solution to their mismanagement problem.

By itself, failure to pay rent is not sufficient evidence that mismanagement exists. Before determining that mismanagement exists for failure to pay rent, consider the following:

  • Did the client have an emergency or unusual event happen for which money was appropriately spent?
  • Are expenses for necessary bills more than the cash assistance payment and other income?

When a benefit unit is threatened with eviction for failure to pay rent, contact the client for immediate counseling and a determination of whether to establish a protective payee. Contact the landlord to see if the family can stay if a protective payee is assigned and back rent payments are made.

Always make sure the case record includes documentation to support the reason a protective payee is assigned.