(a) Two or more beneficiaries in same family. If an amount is payable under title II of the Act for any month to two or more persons who are members of the same family, we may certify any two or more of the individuals for joint payment of the total benefits payable to them for the month.
(b) Joint payee dies before cashing a check. (1) If a check has been issued for joint payment to an individual and spouse residing in the same household, and one of the joint payees dies before the check has been cashed, we may authorize the surviving payee to cash the check. We make the authorization by placing on the face of the check a stamped legend signed by an official of the Social Security Administration or the Treasury Disbursing Office redesignating the survivor as the payee of the check.
(2) If the uncashed check represents benefits for a month after the month of death, we will not authorize the surviving payee to cash the check unless the proceeds of the check are necessary to meet the ordinary and necessary living expenses of the surviving payee.
(c) Adjustment or recovery of overpayment. If a check representing payment of benefits to an individual and spouse residing in the same household is cashed by the surviving payee under the authorization in paragraph (b) of this section, and the amount of the check exceeds the amount to which the surviving payee is entitled, we shall make appropriate adjustment or recovery of the excess amount.