Nebraska Revised Statute 43-907
Assets; custody; records; expenditures; investments; social security benefits; department; duties.
(1) Unless a guardian shall have been appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction, the Department of Health and Human Services shall take custody of and exercise general control over assets owned by children under the charge of the department. Children owning assets shall at all times pay for personal items. Assets over and above a maximum of one thousand dollars and current income shall be available for reimbursement to the state for the cost of care. Assets may be deposited in a checking account, invested in United States bonds, or deposited in a savings account insured by the United States Government. All income received from the investment or deposit of assets shall be credited to the individual child whose assets were invested or deposited. The department shall make and maintain detailed records showing all receipts, investments, and expenditures of assets owned by children under the charge of the department.
(2) When the Department of Health and Human Services serves as representative payee for a child beneficiary of social security benefits, the department shall provide:
(a) Notice to the child beneficiary, in an age-appropriate manner, and the child's guardian ad litem, that the department is acting as the child's representative payee for the purposes of receiving social security benefits, within thirty days after receiving the first social security benefit payment on behalf of the child;
(b) Notice to the juvenile court, at every review hearing regarding the child beneficiary after January 1, 2023, regarding the department's receipt and conservation of the child's social security benefits, that shall include:
(i) The total amount of social security benefit funds the department has received on behalf of the child beneficiary as of the review hearing; and
(ii) The total amount of social security benefit funds received on behalf of the child beneficiary that are currently conserved or unspent as of the review hearing; and
(c) All accounting records regarding the department's receipt, use, and conservation of the child's social security benefits, to the child beneficiary, the child's guardian ad litem or attorney, or the child's parent upon:
(i) Request from the child beneficiary, the child's guardian ad litem or attorney, or the child's parent; and
(ii) Termination of the department's role as the child beneficiary's representative payee.
(3) On or before October 1, 2023, the Department of Health and Human Services shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to carry out subsection (2) of this section consistent with federal requirements regarding representative payees for social security beneficiaries.
The plain meaning of this section is that children in the custody of the Department of Social Services have the right to their personal assets and income up to $1,000; the State may apply amounts in excess of $1,000 to the cost of a child's care. In re Interest of Jaycox, 250 Neb. 697, 551 N.W.2d 9 (1996).