Workers who are unable to work at their jobs may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Likewise, those who are disabled and have very few assets may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Not every Social Security recipient is able to take care of their finances, and some are at risk of being taken advantage of. To help alleviate those issues, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has put in place some rules that allow someone to assist the recipients. Read on to find out more about the representative payee way to deal with SSA payments.
Some Recipients Need Help
In most cases, the need for assistance comes from the recipient themselves or their close family members. In addition, those needing help with their payments and financial matters may be identified by the SSA. Any time a recipient is unable to deal with keeping up with a bank account and paying bills, the need exists. Take a look at this list of recipients who might need help from a representative payee:
- The mentally ill
- People with substance abuse problems
- Those who have physical mobility challenges
- People afflicted with medical conditions that might affect their ability to take care of their finances themselves
Representative Payees and Their Responsibilities
- To ensure a bank account is set up to accept the automatic payments each month.
- To ensure the recipient uses the funds properly. That means paying bills like rent and buying groceries, clothing, and taking care of medical needs first.
- To keep careful records of all income and debits each month.
- To use any remaining funds (after bills and needs are addressed) in an appropriate way that enriches the life of the recipient. For example, the funds may be saved up if the recipient needs to make a large purchase or used for various recreational purposes. That could be anything from a DVD rental at Redbox to a trip to a national park.
Lump-sum Payment Issues
In most cases, the need for a representative payee should be identified before the recipient receives their back pay. Back pay is a sometimes large sum of money owed to them from the SSA because of the delay in approving benefits. This money can be lost, wasted, or given away if a representative payee is not used as soon as possible. The way back pay can be used and other aspects of this payment have strict rules for the representative payee to follow.
Help From the Start
Those who have trouble coping with financial matters may also need help with the application and appeal process. Social Security lawyers understand what the SSA expects to see on applications and can stand by applicants at their appeal hearings. Speak to a lawyer at a law firm about a loved one who may need help getting the benefits they need and deserve.