It’s no secret that seeking Social Security Disability is a complicated process. For some, financial management is just as complicated. Individuals who are approved for Social Security Disability (SSD) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and who also have issues with managing their money may have to use a payee.
The large majority of Social Security clients are capable of handling their own finances and don’t need a payee. Some people, however, may have difficulties maintaining their own finances. If so, Social Security reserves the right to assign a payee.
What is a payee, and what do they do?
According to the official Social Security Administration (SSA) website, Social Security’s Representative Payment Program provides financial management for the SSD and SSI payments of beneficiaries who are incapable of managing their SSD or SSI payments. The website goes on to state that they prefer for payees to be friends or family members. However, they realize that’s not always possible. When friends or family are not able to serve as payees, SSA looks for qualified organizations to be the representative payee.
Not everyone can be a payee. SSA will need to approve a person first. They produce a guide that explains how to handle many different situations that a payee may face. This guide is quite comprehensive and covers everything from medical care to nursing home costs.
If you need a payee and don’t have a family or friend who can handle your finances, you’re not out of luck. There are some agencies approved by SSA who can act as a payee on behalf of a Social Security recipient.
So, how is it determined that a payee will be needed/required? The decision is that of SSA, not the recipient. An obvious example of someone who will need a payee would be a child. Everyone will likely agree that children probably shouldn’t be put in charge of their own finances. Other instances of payee use would be people who are not mentally capable of handling their own finances, such as an individual who has had a severe brain injury or someone with a severe cognitive or mental disability.
It’s a lot of responsibility, but the work a payee does can make a huge difference in the life of someone on Social Security. If you’d like to know more about this program, or if you’d like to talk to us about a free consultation, call our toll-free number at 1-877-526-3457. If you can’t talk now, fill out this form so we can call you at a better time.