We are trying to set up a Special Needs Trust Fund for my disabled brother. My father (who died in Dec. 2021) had a CD account with my brother named as beneficiary. We were issued a cashier's check from the account in the name of my brother. But, we want to have the check reissued in the name of his Special Needs Trust Fund. His only income is a Social Security check each month. The balance on his checking account (on which I am the Representative Payee) MUST stay between $200 - $2000 dollars. He is not allowed to garner income from other sources.

If he cashes the cashier's check ($708.40), we are afraid it will be reported as income and jeopardize his standing with SS. Our bank suggested cashing the check and then directly having the cashier write another cashier's check for the Special Needs Trust with the $708.40 he just cashed. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thank you!

1 Answer 1


Depositing a check (or any other transaction on a checking account) is not something that triggers 'income' for either the IRS or Social Security.
Normally, they would not even know about it; but if they ask about it, you have an explanation why this is not income or a gift. So there should be nothing to worry about.

Note that he can 'cash' the check into cash without any connection to his checking account, by going to the issuing bank and show his ID. They will give him dollar bills, and will have no idea he even has a checking account anywhere. Only if you 'deposit' the check into an account will it even appear there.

It is doubtful if the check can be reissued to another recipient - the beneficiary is what the beneficiary is, and they will not make out the check to anybody else.

  • Thank you, Aganju! We appreciate the input.
    – John
    Commented Apr 21, 2022 at 19:44
  • A deposit is not income, but it is an asset, and if this is SSI (Supplemental Security Income, adminstered by SSA but different from 'regular' Social Security benefits) there are limits on both income AND assets, called 'resources': see ssa.gov/ssi/text-resources-ussi.htm . Commented Apr 22, 2022 at 3:27

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