Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program established by the federal government and the Social Security Administration to assist disabled children and adults who are unable to work. In some cases, however, these disabilities make it difficult, if not impossible, for the individual in question to competently manage their money. They may not be able to fully understand their situation, their budget, or the purpose of the money, or – in many cases – they may be too young to legally be able to handle the monthly payments and the necessities that they are supposed to take care of.
For these sorts of situations, the SSA has developed the Representative Payment Program. This program is specifically set up to help disabled individuals who need assistance in managing their money. By appointing another, trusted individual, we can be sure that the person in question is getting their basic needs met, and that the SSI benefits they are receiving are being managed correctly.
Because this is an important responsibility, the SSA does not let just anyone be a representative payee. Preferred representative payees are friends or family members who have a relationship with the disabled individual, and a vested interested in making sure they are healthy and taken care of.
If you are appointed as a representative payee by the SSA, you will have several duties to fulfill, including:
While there are other considerations to understand, the basic idea is that a representative payee is there to act in the best interest of the disabled child or adult when that person is unable to do it for themselves. It is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly by anyone.
If you would like to know more about the Representative Payment Program and how you may help a family member or friend who might need help managing their finances, please contact us today. Our team of experts can help walk you through the process of applying to be a representative payee, and can also make sure you fully understand the do’s and don’t’s of the process and program. We look forward to hearing from you!