Back Pay Due a Homeless Claimant

By / January 13, 2017 / SSI Benefits / 10 Comments

Learn how families can handle Social Security payments for homeless relatives, how a parent can apply to be designated Payee and when back pay can be accessed to find living arrangements.

Dear Disability Advisor,

My Sister Was Approved 3 years ago but Was Homeless Living On The Streets. The Family Has Finally Found Her, So How Long Will It Take For Her To Get Her Disability Benefits When We Take Her To Social Security  Office And My Mom Be Her Payee?

Collage

Dear Collage,

Your mother can apply to be your sister’s payee. If her claim was approved with the need for a payee already determined, the application will suffice. If not, your mother could try to get a medical opinion of your sister’s capability to handle funds from a physician who has treated her recently. The opinion can be written up on an SSA-787 form, which is available at:

http://www.ecpayee.org/uploads/8/8/7/4/8874367/doctor_statement_ssa_787.pdf

How long it will take your sister’s benefits to be issued depends on whether she is eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI), which is issued by the program center, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is issued by the local office. If it is SSI, benefits could be issued within a month. If your sister needs more than the first installment of SSI back pay to get into an apartment, pay deposits, get basic furniture (bed, table, chair) or get medical care, she can request more be released than the standard $2,205. If the benefits are Social Security only, she can submit a dire need statement to be forwarded to the payment center, but it still is likely to be two months or more before benefits are issued.

Sincerely,
The Disability Advisor

Back Pay Due a Homeless Claimant
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  • Dear Paul,
    You are welcome.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Paul,
    If your SSI back pay is larger than three times the SSI Federal Benefit (FBR), which in 2017 was three times $735 ($2205), your back pay will be paid out to you in three installments or less, each six months apart. The first two will not exceed three times the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR); the final installment will pay the remainder due. Three exceptions will allow you to have more than single installment released at one time: 1) all unpaid benefits will be paid in one lump sum if you have a medical condition that is expected to result in death within twelve months; 2) you are no longer ineligible for SSI and it is expected you will remain ineligible for twelve months. The most common occurrence of this is when SSI stops because SSDI starts and your monthly SSDI is too high for continuing SSI eligibility; and 3) you have an urgent need to have all or an increased amount of your back pay released early. For example, if you need the money to pay the down payment on a house or to buy a car for medical transportation, or to catch up past-due rent or mortgage to avoid eviction or foreclosure, or to pay past-due medical bills or to pay for needed medical care, you may be successful in getting additional funds released before the installment due dates. If any of these circumstances apply to you, you can submit a petition for release of funds. Be prepared to provide documentation of the dollar amount needed such as past-due notices and written estimates.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

    • Dear Paul,
      Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits begin to accrue the later of twelve months before the month you applied or the sixth full calendar month of disability as established by Social Security.
      Sincerely,
      Jane

  • Dear Paul,

    Jane and I answer questions as a team. Kansas City, Missouri has a Social Security Program Service Center, which processes Social Security claims to payment. Usually Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI) claims are processed in the Baltimore Program Service Center; however, it is possible that Kansas City could be processing overflow claims. Why it would show as your “local” office I don’t know; perhaps it just means where your SSDI claim is now.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Paul,
    You are welcome.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Paul,

    I am a new moderator working with Kay to answer questions. An award letter means you were approved. You are right, to determine exactly how much you were approved for, you need to see the letter. In the meantime, I recommend that you get in touch with the lender and tell them you have been approved and should have the approval letter with the payment amounts within a week. That might get them to hold off on the sale. Also watch your bank account and mail box. Sometimes payment comes before the letter.

    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Jason,

    If the funds are not in your account on Monday, call Social Security right away to be sure they were issued. If the funds were issued on time and you have not changed banks, then it could be a banking error and the next step would be to contact the bank.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Paul,

    Glad to be of service.

    Kay

  • Dear Deeanna,

    Your benefits are being calculated and authorized in a central payment center. Submit a statement of dire need to your local office and ask them to forward it to the payment center. State the reason for the need (being evicted due to the sale of your residence). the date by which you must move, an estimate of the amount needed for you to get into new housing. Attach any proof of the eviction. If the time frame is very short, you might ask the local office for an emergency advance payment.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Deeanna,

    Please tell me whether the back pay you are due is Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) so that I can provide some guidance.

    Thank you,
    Kay

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