What You Need to Know About SSDI Representative Payees

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When a physical or mental condition prevents someone from working, the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides financial payments to assist. In some situations, the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipient is not able to deal with their finances without help. When that occurs, the SSDI can approve for another person or entity to take care of the recipient's finances. Read on to find out about this issue.

Situations That Call for Help

The SSDI recognizes that some recipients must use the assistance of another to help them pay bills, deal with their bank account, etc. This person is known by the SSA as the representative payee. This person might be needed when any of the following situations occur:

  • The physically disabled who have mobility issues
  • Anyone who might be vulnerable to being taken advantage of without assistance
  • The mentally ill
  • Anyone suffering from drug or alcohol addiction issues
  • Those who are afflicted with ailments that affect their decision making and memory abilities, such as those with dementia

Who Can Be a Representative Payee?

The person chosen should be prepared to undergo background checks, a personal interview with an SSA representative, and complete an application. While many recipients have family members to step in take on this task, friends, attorneys, and even organizations can do so. When an organization performs this service, they are allowed to charge the SSA a fee.

What Does the Representative Payee Do for the Recipient?

The main responsibilities are to see to the health and well-being of the recipient by ensuring that the monthly benefit payment goes toward food, housing, clothing, and medical needs. Record-keeping of funds spent and what they were used for is a must. If there is money left after expenses have been paid, the representative payee can provide the recipient with money for recreational purposes like entertainment, travel, outings, cable or internet services, and more. Money can also be allowed to accumulate in the recipient's bank account.

What About Back Pay?

Some SSDI recipient receives back pay as a result of the wait time between becoming disabled and their approval dates. The resulting funds are known as back pay and this money is provided in one lump sum payment. The representative payee is responsible for ensuring that these funds be used to improve the life of the recipient in some manner or that it be held in a separate (from the monthly funds) account for later use. The funds can be used for almost any need, such as apartment deposits, transportation, handicapped alterations to the home or vehicle, etc.

If a loved one has been turned down for benefits, they are entitled to an appeal. Contact a Social Security disability law firm to learn more about what legal representation can do for your disabled loved one today.