Your father has been collecting disability payments for years now, but lately you’ve noticed that his condition is worsening. His injury is unchanged, but his mental health is failing rapidly. You’re trying to take care of him, but it’s difficult—and the Social Security Administration will only release his checks to him. Is there anything you can do?
Yes. In cases where a disability beneficiary cannot manage his or her money, the SSA allows a qualified person to receive the individual’s benefits. If you are approved, you will become your loved one’s “representative payee,” and you will be legally responsible for all matters related to your family member’s benefits.
If you decide to become a representative payee, you will be responsible for:
- Determining what the beneficiary’s needs are and how they can be improved
- Making purchases with the beneficiary’s payments to improve his or her quality of life
- Saving or investing any leftover disability funds in an interest bearing account to provide for the beneficiary in the future
- Keeping detailed records of all payments, how they were spent, and how much was saved
- Reporting any changes that could affect the beneficiary’s disability status to the SSA
- Helping the beneficiary receive proper medical treatment
- Providing social security disability information to any government agencies or medical facilities that the beneficiary may make use of
- Returning any benefit payments that the beneficiary did not earn to the SSA
- Notifying the SSA of any changes in your circumstances that would affect your ability to perform as payee
You should know that becoming a payee can be a difficult process. You will have to undergo a face-to-face interview with a social security official and explain why you must receive funds on your family member’s behalf, including providing proof that your relative is unable to manage his own finances.
Manfred F. Ricciardelli, Jr. is a trusted New Jersey Social Security disability lawyer who can help you apply to become a payee and advise you on other ways to become a legal representative for your loved one in your FREE consultation. Call us today at (877) 360-0183 or click the link above to download our FREE electronic book, What the Injured Worker Needs to Know: Your Workers Comp Guide.