What is a Social Security Disability representative payee?

By / March 3, 2016 / After You’re Approved for Social Security Disability & SSI / 668 Comments

Learn when Social Security will send your disability benefits to a representative payee to manage and about the payee’s duties and responsibilities.

A representative payee is a person chosen by the Social Security Administration to receive, and manage the use of, your Social Security Disability benefits.

When Does Social Security Require a Representative Payee
There are two situations in which Social Security regulations require that disability benefits to be paid to a representative payee. First, representative payees are appointed to receive and manage benefits that are payable to a minor. Second, if you are an adult or an emancipated minor, a representative payee will be appointed to manage your benefits if, due to your physical health, you are unable to direct the use of your funds or if, due to your illness, your judgment is impaired, so that there is a reasonable possibility that you will not have the capacity to make sound financial decisions to take care of yourself. If at some point your health improves and you are still disabled and eligible for benefits, then your benefits may be paid directly to you at that time.

Representative Payee Responsibilities
Your representative payee is directed to use your disability benefits to first pay for your current shelter, food, clothing, personal care items, medical and dental care, and rehabilitation services, if applicable. If there is money left over, your payee can use your benefits to pay your past-due bills, to support your dependents, or for your entertainment or to improve your living environment. Any excess must be saved in an account held in your name, but controlled by your payee.

Your payee should show you how much money you get from Social Security and how much he or she spends on your needs. It is also appropriate for you to voice your opinion on how you would like the money spent, although the payee makes the final decision. Representative payees must keep records of how they spend your benefits and report on the management of your money to the Social Security Administration annually.

For more information about Social Security Disability representative payees, please see our articles:

What is a Social Security Disability representative payee?
4 (80%) 1 vote

  • Dear Kat,

    If your daughter’s Social Security check is being co-mingled with your funds and there is a judgment against you, it is possible that her funds could be swept out of your account. I suggest that you set up a separate account titled “your daughter’s name by your name, representative payee.” The funds in an account with that type of title will legally belong to your daughter, not you although you will be the one with access to the account. Because the funds will clearly not belong to you, her money will be protected from any judgement against you. To open such an account, take to the bank any correspondence you have received about her benefits that will show you are her payee.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Ben.

  • DJ

    I lease a 3 bedroom duplex and the land lady allows me to sublet the rooms out as long as she does not have to get involved in roommate drama. I am currently subletting to a 22 year old guy and his disabled father. The father is receiving SSD benefits which the son is supposed to be using to pay rent and food. He has not paid rent in 2 months and only paid partial rent the first month. The son also rarely buys food and when he does it is an extremely small amount. The father generally eats my food after I go to bed. His son does not have a job or income of his own. The son generally sleeps all day and is out all night or weekend whatever the case may be. I am behind on bills because I have been paying them from my own income. Most of my family and friends, including my lawyer and the real estate broker for the land lady has been advising me to evict them. At first I was concerned for the father and tried to work with the son to get caught up, but he does not follow through with his promises to pay. I have issued them letters and had them served with an eviction notice. I am still concerned for the father’s well-being as there seems to be no one else who comes to see him or care for him. I am moving in 3 weeks and have to evict them before I leave, but feel obligated to do something before I do

    • Dear DJ,

      What is needed is a new representative payee for the father. You can report the misuse of funds to the Social Security Administration and they will investigate and try to get a new payee. The challenge may, however, be in not having the father’s Social Security number. If the father wants help, he might be willing to give it to you so that you could be sure that the report can be associated with his claim. Even without the number, you are doing the right thing to report that the son is not taking care of the father’s needs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dear Catherine,

    I suggest that you use your mother’s Social Security to pay for her nursing home and personal expenses and her other income or assets to pay for any expenses related to the house. That way, you will be correctly using your mother’s Social Security for her direct care as is required by law.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Justin,

    You and your friend can go to Social Security and report the misuse of funds. You or someone else who is trustworthy could file to be your friend’s payee and pay her bills for her, giving her some money that she controls for incidentals. But, most of her bills (rent, utilities, medical co-pays, bus pass, etc.) should be paid directly to the provider.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sandra,

    If your son’s sister is a reliable person, the simplest solution and the solution preferred by the Social Security Administration is for her to file an application to be representative payee for your son. You can help make the change smooth by writing a letter in support of her being payee because of your move or by going to the Social Security office with her to file the application. If she cannot take time off work to go to the office, she can call Social Security to request a telephone appointment to file the application.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Larry,

    Yes, a person can be payee for two people. Of course, be careful not to co-mingle funds and keep good, separate records for each beneficiary.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Bekah,

    The primary purpose of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is to pay for shelter, shelter utilities and food, so it is appropriate to use your disabled daughter’s monthly benefits for those things. Limiting her payment to her share (one-third) is good as long her contribution together with your is enough to cover the total amount due. If it is not, you could use more to keep a roof over her head.

    If you would be hiring a non-family member to take care of your disabled daughter, then hiring your other daughter for childcare would be acceptable. However you cannot create an unnecessary job and then pay a relative to do it using your disabled daughter’s fund.

    Using her money to buy a car in your name is a harder call because it is like giving you the money. I suggest you discuss the matter with SSA. Her funds could be used for gas when you take her somewhere.

    Lastly, the vehicle in which you have the least equity will count toward the resource limit. You can have $2,000 in countable resources. Any excess will count toward your daughter’s $2,000 limit. (Equity is the value of the vehicle reduced by the amount owed on it.) There is a possibility that your accessing your 401k will make the remaining amount a countable resource because you have demonstrated access. If this is asserted, you could try to rebut on the basis that withdrawal is allowed only due to hardship and that you are out of the hardship situation.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Naee Williams

    Could I get an housing apartment in my name even though I have an payee

    • Dear Naee,

      You posted your question twice. Please see my response to the first posting.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Naee Williams

    Could I get my own housing apartment in my name even though I have a payee

    • Dear Naee,

      Yes, you can rent an apartment. Your payee will be responsible for paying the rent directly to the landlord/lady and paying any utilities directly to the utility company, so it would be good to involve your payee in the process of selecting an apartment to make sure that you can afford the housing and your other basic needs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dear Laura,

    You are partially correct. A payee cannot use the disabled Social Security or SSI beneficiary’s money for anyone other that the disabled person.

    However, you have a misunderstanding of the reason a person is required to have a payee to receive benefits. Payee rules apply the same to Social Security and SSI benefits. A payee is required when a person’s disability interferes with their ability to manage money to consistently take care of their primary needs. When a payee is appointed, the payee is not supposed to just turn the money over to the beneficiary. The payee is supposed to pay directly to the provider for rent, utilities, phone, bus pass, and anything else that can be paid for directly. Then if the disabled person has the ability to manage small amounts of money at a time, the payee can give the person a week’s grocery money or a specific amount to purchase clothing and other items you mentioned, but not a whole month’s worth at one time. If the person does not have that ability and uses the money for less basic-need items before taking care of basic needs, then the payee should take the person shopping for clothes and food or make those purchases. Either way, it is acceptable to give the disabled person some spending money for entertainment and snacks if there is enough money for those things.

    Lastly, you addressed your comments to Haley. I did not get the impression that she was planning to use her daughter’s income for herself and was not suggesting that she do so.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Haley,

    This is not what you asked, but one thing you need to let your daughter know is that if she gets married and does not marry someone who is receiving Social Security (not SSI) benefits other than dependent benefits based on being a minor or student , her Childhood Disability Benefits will be terminated.

    Your duties as representative payee and as concerned parent appear to be in conflict. As representative payee, you are charged with seeing that your daughter’s basic needs are met. The most basic needs are shelter including utilities and food. If you decide not to pay the rent and send her food money weekly and just hold onto the money with the idea she’ll come back, the man she moves in with will have a basis for applying to be her payee. Another wrinkle to this is that usually Social Security does not approve long-distance payees because it is difficult for the payee to see what the disabled person’s needs are on a regular basis. What you could possibly do is discuss the situation with Social Security if she actually moves and say you want to remain payee because you believe her move will be temporary and you want to protect her from opportunists. You could explain that you will mail the usual things you purchase for her (toiletries, etc.) and will pay her phone bill as well as her share of rent, etc. directly and will mail or wire money for food weekly.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • Haley

      Thank you Kay. Happily my daughter decided against this move, partly based on your kind response.

  • You are welcome, Ben.

  • Dear Ben,

    I suggest that you discuss the situation with your psychiatrist. If he or she thinks that you can handle money and not get into financial trouble (i.e., not pay for rent, utilities, and food) during a manic episode, he or she can complete a statement on an SSA-787 indicating your are capable. If the doctor believes that you are still unable to hold down a job, that should be addressed on the form also with a brief statement that you are still disabled from working and why. You could then submit that with your application to be your own payee. Put on the application that your current payee is not reliable in getting your bills paid. The SSA-787 is available at http://www.ecpayee.org/uploads/8/8/7/4/8874367/doctor_statement_ssa_787.pdf.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jasmine,

    No, your husband does not have to be present when you conduct financial transactions on his behalf. You were given that authority with regard to his Social Security benefits when you were made his payee.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Doniesha,

    Contact Social Security to find out whether your earnings record was strong enough to provide dependent benefits. If so, you can apply for your son.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Robin,

    Everyone should be treated with respect especially by government employees. Despite the rudeness and difficulty, try to be patient and do whatever is needed to get the benefits.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Robin,

    As payee, your husband can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to find out how much the children will receive. If benefits have been calculated, the call center will have the figures. They will be eligible for all the same months as you.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Erica,

    The “representative” being referred to is the attorney your children’s father used to help him get approved for benefits and the withholding was to pay the attorney. Attorney fees are capped at 25% of back pay up to $6,000. The service charge is the amount the attorney pays to SSA so that SSA will pay him or her directly. The net amount the attorney gets is the approved fee less the service charge.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Diane,

    What you describe is quite odd, especially their picking up an old address of yours. I assume by now you have straightened out the address and that you have not been made his payee. If you have been made his payee, you and he need to go to Social Security to straighten out the confusion about requesting you to be his payee. Just say that you and he did not understand he was requesting a representative payee to receive his benefits when he was asking that you be able to get information about his claim, that he does not need a payee, that he does not wish to have payee, and that you don’t wish to be payee. Lastly, it is quite unlikely that your credit would be linked to his because he is not your husband. Being a person’s payee doesn’t link your credit records.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tdog66,

    Social Security law does not provide for appealing who is chosen as payee. Your wife should be using your child’s benefit to pay for the child’s shelter, food, clothing, medical and dental care, school supplies etc., so she can write a check from your son’s account payable to the mortgage company and utility companies to pay part of those costs or to the account from which the mortgage is paid to help with the mortgage and utilities if shelter utilities are paid from the same account. If she does the grocery shopping, part of the child’s money will go for that and so on to the extent that it can spread down through the most important priorities for the child’s care.

    Just to clarify, part of your benefit was not taken from you and given to your son. Your son’s benefit is paid in addition to the amount you receive. When he turns eighteen (or nineteen if he is still in high school), his benefit will stop; yours will not increase at that time because he was not receiving part of yours.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Michael,

    You can go to the Social Security Administration, preferably with your son, and apply to be your son’s payee. At that time, report when your wife left and the fact that she has not used any of your son’s benefits for him since she left.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sara,

    There is no way for your brother to have a debit card to the account that receives his benefits because the whole point of his having a payee is for him not to have control over all his benefits because he needs to someone to see that his rent and utilities and food and other basic needs are paid.

    Presumably the small amounts of money you refer to is the spending money your mother gives him after other needs are met. Your brother could open a second bank account and your mother could deposit the money she now hands him into the account once a week and he could draw on the account. That might reduce some of the friction because he would have some control over when he pulled the money from the account. On the other hand, it opens up the potential for an overdrawn account.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Dan,

    Usually the parent with the physical custody receives the child’s Social Security benefit. You would probably have to have some specific reason for receiving the benefit to be selected payee. You can petition the court, if you wish, to reduce or eliminate your support payment in consideration of the dependent benefits being paid on your account.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Concerned Mom,

    Two separate issues are involved: the first is obtaining a guardianship/conservatorship for your son and the second is applying for SSI for him. For the first, I suggest that you contact a family law or estate planning attorney to help with filing the necessary papers in court.

    For the second, applying for SSI for your son, you do not have to have guardianship papers. You can assist with the claim informally and if he is approved for benefits, it is likely that a representative payee will be required to receive his benefits. You can then file an application to be payee for his benefits. This is completely separate from the guardianship process. Because your son is age eighteen, your income and assets will not affect his SSI financial eligibility.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Bekah. Glad it turned out to be easy.

  • Dear Brandon,

    You can try to become your child’s payee. If his benefits are paid to you, you will be responsible for giving a substantial amount of his benefits to his mother for his food, medical care, and school expenses while he is with her.

    If she is made payee either because you decide not apply or because Social Security decides to pay the benefits to the parent in whose custody the child resides most of the time, you can apply to the court to have your child support payments reduced due to the payment of dependent benefits from your earnings record and then use the savings to care for your child when he is with you. Also, the mother should give you the benefits for the child’s food, at least, for the two months he is with you in the summer.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Bekah,

    I doubt anything is being done on purpose; maybe when your claim was transferred what you submitted in your prior state wasn’t associated with the claim file when it was transferred. Nonetheless, keep a copy of everything you submit for ease in case it is requested again.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Joan,

    You and your boyfriend can buy a house together. Usually out-of-state representative payees are not approved, but if your boyfriend’s mother can figure out a method of paying his primary expenses of housing, medical co-pays, etc. and a way to monitor how the rest of the funds are spent, they might approve it. If you are well enough to be your boyfriend’s payee, there is no prohibition against your being payee.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Bill,

    Please see my response to your first post. You should not be liable for your grandson’s overpayment that occurred when you were not his payee. You need to file a request for waiver of repayment on the basis of the overpayment not being your fault because you did not receive the money as payee and on the basis of not being able to afford to repay. If anything, the overpayment should be collected from your grandson’s benefits. You can also request that while the waiver request is being processed that collection stop.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tina,

    Whether or not your son continues to be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) depends on the amount of countable resources (assets) you and your husband have as well as the amount of income the two of you have. You can read about countable resources and income limits in the articles under the SSI tab on the navigation bar at the top of this webpage.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Cynthia,

    Please double check that you receive Social Security Disability (SSDI aka SSD) because SSDI does not have any “standard” benefit. If you receive SSDI and your Family Maximum benefit (FMB) is more than your Primary Insurance Amount, which is you own benefit before withholding for Medicare premiums, your child will be eligible for Social Security dependent benefits. You can find out the amount of your FMB and PIA by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. If, however, you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), no dependent benefits are payable because SSI does not provide for dependents.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Bill,

    You are not liable for an overpayment that occurred before you were payee; however, it is possible that Social Security will collect it from your son by withholding part of the benefits.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Maria,

    Please tell me whether your son has medical, mental, or intellectual limitations other than the seizures. That information might help me give you some referral information.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Paul,

    Your son cannot receive benefits from your earnings record unless you yourself are receiving benefits. When you start to receive benefits, you cannot pick and choose which dependents can receive benefits; that is defined by law. If your thirty-three year-old son became disabled before age twenty-two and he is unmarried and he can prove that he has been continuously disabled since before age twenty-two from a medical or psychiatric condition that is not caused by alcohol or drug use, he can draw Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB) from your account that are payable to disabled adult children. Also, note that if he meets all the requirements for CDB and is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the SSI program will require that he apply for the CDB.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Keith,

    Your representative payee can use your benefits up to your share of the rent and utilities on those expenses and be within the law. You, of course, could choose to live elsewhere if you find it would be financially beneficial to you.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Der Usgator,

    Please tell me what you mean by restrictions and I will try to respond.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Keith,

    If you live with your mother, you must pay rent at a fair market value–the same as you would have to pay for a room elsewhere. If you do not, your SSI will be reduced. The reduction can be as much as down to $490 a month. Also, it is appropriate for you to pay for your phone, so it is right that your mother uses some of your benefits to pay for your phone.

    You can apply to be your own payee, but you likely will need a statement from a physician that you are capable of handling your money to take care of your most important needs, which are a place to live and food, before spending money on anything else. If your doctor agrees that you are capable, he or she can complete form SSA-787 for you to take to Social Security to apply to receive your check directly. However, note that If you become your own payee, you will still need to pay rent as explained above. (The SSA-787 is available online at http://www.ecpayee.org/uploads/8/8/7/4/8874367/doctor_statement_ssa_787.pdf.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Moe,

    As your daughter’s representative payee, your mother’s income will not affect your daughter’s SSI benefits.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Jesus.

  • Dear Mary,

    If your son in not capable of handling his own funds and getting disability benefits or is still getting dependent benefits because he is still in high school, you certainly can continue to be his payee.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Dana,

    This is in response to both of your posts today.

    I don’t have any information to add beyond what I provided previously, which is the following:

    The rules for stepchild dependency are scattered about the regulations and are detailed enough to become complex. I did find two references that may be of some help. The first indicates the following:

    For a disabled worker, the potential dependency points are 1) at the beginning of the period of disability as established by Social Security; 2) at the time you became entitled to benefits (i.e., the first month FOR which you were paid benefits; and 3) the date an application is filed for the stepchild.

    Elsewhere in another section of the Procedural and Operations Manual System I found the limitation that dependency points that occur before the stepchild-stepparent relationship is established cannot be used. This comes down to meaning that the only dependency point open to you is the date of the application for your stepchild and the period during which you have to prove that you provided more than half of the child’s support is the twelve months prior to that.

    So, if I understood you correctly and if I understand the law correctly, you are submitting evidence for the correct period of time. The only extra idea I might have to offer is that if you are getting any kind of a housing allowance from the military that counts as your contribution also.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome.

  • Dear Doniesha,

    If your family maximum benefit (FMB) is more than your own benefit, which is called your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA), your child can receive benefits. You can get the amount of your FMB and PIA by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. If the FMB is more than the PIA, check with your local office to see whether your son has a claim already in the works. If not, you can apply for him.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Aspen,

    Your son can spend some of your son’s monthly benefits on a modestly priced birthday gift for his sister. As long as there is no question that the purchase of the gift was made for the purpose of keeping him within the resource (asset) limit to retain eligibility, it is a reasonable purchase. When doing your representative payee accounting report, include the amount of the gift in the amount of spending money (allowance) you give him.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Bekah.

  • Dear Ramon,

    I suggest that you ask a trusted relative or friend to apply to be representative payee. Go with the person and make a written statement that your current payee has not been using the benefits to pay the shelter expenses.

    Another option would be to discuss with your physician whether you are capable of receiving the benefits yourself. If the physician thinks so, he or she can complete an SSA-787 capability statement and you can use the statement to apply to be payee yourself. The form is available at http://www.ecpayee.org/uploads/8/8/7/4/8874367/doctor_statement_ssa_787.pdf.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Renee,

    Your remarriage would not affect your daughter’s benefits or your ability to continue as her payee.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Babs,

    If you are receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI), the proceeds of the lawsuit will not affect your SSDI benefits.

    If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, the money will count in the month it is received and you will be overpaid that month. Any of the funds that you still have on the first of the following month will count toward the SSI resource limit. If you are ineligible, you can use the money to support yourself until your assets are within SSI limits again and then you can apply for reinstatement. Money can be spent on excluded resources such a single car or a home to live in and certain burial insurance policies. Just be aware that if you give any of the money away, you might be barred from getting SSI benefits for a period of time even after you are below the resource limit.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Michelle,

    Your duties as a payee are first of all to use the benefits you manage to pay for shelter (including rent and utilities) and food for your husband and your child. Next in priority is medical care, personal hygiene items, clothing, dental care, day care, and other essentials.

    If the family needs a car, the car could be put in both your husband’s and your names. (I don’t know whether a child’s name can be put on the title of a car, but you could probably reasonably use some of the child’s income to purchase the car because it would be used for the child’s needs also. Just keep a log of how the money is spent. That will make it easy to account annually when you are asked to.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Mary Studer

    Does my payee have the right to make me pay property taxes on a house I don’t o

    • Dear Mary,

      If you live with other people, it is appropriate for you to either pay a flat rate amount for room or room and board (room and food) or to pay your share of shelter (and food if you share food) expenses. Your share is the total shelter expenses and food expenses if you share food divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender property insurance. Accordingly, if you are sharing shelter expenses, it is appropriate for your payee to use part of your benefits to pay up to some of property taxes.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dear Cynthia,

    If your earnings history is sufficient for you to have earned a family maximum benefit (FMB ) higher than your own benefit, dependent benefits will be payable for your child. I suggest that you call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to find out if your FMB is greater than you own benefit. If so, you can also request an appointment to apply for benefits for your daughter. (Your daughter will not be eligible for any medical insurance through your entitlement.)

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Bekah,

    SSI is paid with the primary purpose of providing housing and food, so you can use the benefits for towards rent or mortgage. Her name does not have to be on the lease or title. You can also use he funds for gasoline to get her to the doctor and to purchase plane fare for her to visit her father if her basic needs of food, housing, clothing, and school supplies are being met.

    You mention a large back payment. If the back pay is more than six months benefits, you likely will have to deposit the funds into a Dedicated Account with restricted uses. You might be able to get permission to use some of the money for a move if your daughter’s physician can link the need for independent housing to her health. You can read about Dedicated Accounts at https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200602140 .

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    Lastly, her money has to be kept separate from yours, so if you prefer to pay for things with a card, it would be best to get a card for her bank account and make her expenditures with that card or a check.

    Si

  • Dear Sue,

    Only one parent can serve as representative payee. The payee should give the other parent money for the child’s food and possibly extra utilities for the half time the child is with you, plus some funds for clothing and entertainment if the benefits are enough to provide for those things and you are the parent who shops for them. If you set up an agreement and receive funds from the other parent, give the parent a receipt each time so that he will have documentation of how the benefits were spent when he has to account.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Divine Life Diva,

    The father could serve as payee, but because you have physical custody of the children and are their guardian, it is much more likely you will be chosen as payee.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Divine Life Diva,

    You have to apply to be the children’s representative payee. If you are not contacted to do so within a month, I suggest that you take the children’s father’s Social Security number, their birth certificates, and their Social Security numbers to your local office and make application.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Brynn.

  • Dear Tom,

    It sounds like your son is part of your household and is sharing expenses rather than paying room and board. If he is sharing expenses and pays his share, you are not getting any income from him, so there would be nothing to tax.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Wendy.

  • Dear Carolyn,

    It is usually considered best for a close relative to administer the funds to be sure that the disabled individual is cared for and the money not misused. For that reason you have been asked to serve as representative payee. I do not know why your mother was not asked to assume that responsibility. And, yes, it is an appropriate duty for a guardian.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Wendy,

    At redetermination, it would probably be best to report the assistance, but it will not count as income.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Ana.

  • Dear KC,

    See my response of earlier today to your first post?

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear KC,

    I agree with you about the inappropriateness of the transaction; but because the benefit recipient has not been declared incompetent by a court, there may be nothing you can do about the loan. However, I am not sure. I suggest that you contact your state’s attorney general’s office to find out if you have recourse. Emphasize that the letter that was presented to the loan company showed that the funds were being paid to you and not in the beneficiary’s control. Try to find out whether the transaction is binding and if it is whether, given the circumstances, the interest accrual can be stopped if you have to repay the loan in increments over a few months. Also, perhaps after talking with the attorney general’s office, it may be appropriate to talk with the company that made the loan and put them on notice not to extend any more loans to the beneficiary.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tom,

    Because you have chosen to charge your son a flat rate room and board charge, he is a renter with you and not sharing expenses; therefore, you do not need to document your expenses. Because you are your son’s representative payee, you will be the only legal signer on his bank account and, therefore, you not your son, should write the $300 checks with room and board written on them. Copies of the cashed checks will be adequate proof, but I suggest printing them out or setting up the account for statements with hard copies of the cashed checks and keeping the copies permanently or at least for five years or so in case any question ever arises.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Ana,

    Your brother or his payee, if he has one, can appeal the decision. He may be past the deadline to request payment continuation during the appeal processing time. To support the appeal, write up a statement with the information you provided me in the statement and give specific examples of functional problems he has. Get other relatives and friends to do the same. Also, if he has not had an IQ or other cognitive evaluation for a while, try to get one to support the appeal. Talk with the doctors who are treating him to see if they will complete psychiatric residual functional capacities statements and/or write statements about why your brother would not be able to hold down a job other than possibly at a sheltered workshop.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Carl,

    You can combine your son’s two sources of income into one account; however, it will make it easier for you to do the annual representative payee reporting if you keep the funds in two separate accounts.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear KDR,

    Given that your back pay is large enough to take care of any current needs you have, your payee can use part of the money to repay your debts. You should also keep in mind that at least part of the Social Security back pay will be taxable and that money should be set aside to pay those taxes. Because of this I suggest that you and your payee consult with a tax accountant to quantify your tax liability before deciding how much of the back pay to use on debts. Lastly, the payee should keep complete records of how the money is spent so it can be itemized at the annual accounting.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Nancy,

    Yours is a tax question, so please contact the IRS to get information on how to handle your children’s Social Security income. I can say that if the adjusted gross income is $25,000 or less for a single person it is not taxed.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Brynn,

    You and your son cannot have a joint account for his benefits. From Social Security’s viewpoint either he is capable or handling his funds or he isn’t. I suggest you discuss this with your son’s physician. If you think your son can handle the money to write you a check each month for his room and board (see below) and make judgments to pay for other necessary things before less necessary expenditures, his physician could complete an SSA-787 vouching for capability. The form is available at http://www.ecpayee.org/uploads/8/8/7/4/8874367/doctor_statement_ssa_787.pdf. If this is not the case, you could informally involve your son in the decisions about how money is spent and give him spending money from the benefits if there is enough that he can spend at his discretion.

    Check with the IRS about collecting rent. It may be income you need to report. On the other hand, if your son pays only his share of shelter and food expenses (or buys his food separately and pays his share of shelter), he would be eligible for the maximum SSI and you and your husband would not be receiving income from him. His share is the shelter (and food if you share food) expenses divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender property insurance.

    Your son, who now has no income, will be paid at a reduced rate if he is approved. When he starts to receive benefits and gets his back pay check, his benefit has the potential of going up. If he has enough to pay his share for two months, his benefit will go to the maximum after two months. If he does not have enough, he can save up rather than paying right away, until he has enough. Then he can report and receive an increase two months later. The money should be saved up in an account so you can prove that he has saved up the necessary funds. (Of course, if his share is more than his monthly SSI, he will not be able to pay his share ongoing.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Wendy,

    I think that you could get a statement from your son’s physician about the need for a house modification needed to accommodate your son’s physical size and sensory issues and use the money for building the shower. His funds can also be used for his share(one-third) of travel expenses (transportation, lodging, etc.) and, of course, any entrance fees.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Mike,

    You can apply to be payee for the children and control use of the money for their current needs, such as clothing, school supplies and activities, medical and dental care and modest allowances if they are old enough for an allowance. If their current needs are all being met without using the Social Security, you can save it for future needs or college or vocational training for them

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Dean,

    Your mother’s situation would appear to be a conundrum, but this can’t be the first time that is has happened, so there must be a solution.

    If the Social Security Administration has officially been made your father’s representative payee with the responsibility to manage your father’s benefits to take care of him, she has the responsibility to use the money only for him. If he is expected to return home from the nursing home, that would include retaining a home for him to return to (paying the rent or mortgage and taxes, and utilities), evening making a car payment for his future transportation. On the other hand, if he is not coming home, then the question becomes how can she not be considered misusing your father’s benefits if she pays for shelter , etc. that he is not returning to.

    Here is one thought. If Medicaid is paying your father’s nursing home bill, there is, I believe, a provision in Medicaid law that allows a spouse to use the income of the spouse who is in the nursing home to support herself (or himself) so that spouse who is well and can stay in the home is not be left stranded with little or no income. Effectively, Medicaid does not require use of the patient’s income or use of all of it to pay part of the nursing home bill. It seems likely that this has occurred; otherwise your mother would have only $30 a month left of your father’s money after spending the rest of your father’s income on the nursing home.

    I suggest that first you and your mother talk with the Medicaid administrators to find out what her options are under Medicaid law. If Medicaid has set up payment for the nursing home without requiring that your father’s Social Security benefits be used for the nursing home costs so that your mother has support, then I suggest getting that in writing from the Medicaid program. (The papers that were written up to approve Medicaid payment would likely include this provision for your mother if it exists.) Ask for the name or number of the Medicaid law that allows this.

    The next step is for you and your mother to go to a Social Security office to talk with a Social Security claims representative (not a service representative) about how to handle the situation. As I said, it must have come up with other people. If Medicaid has granted your mother the right to keep some or all of your father’s income for her support, take proof of that from Medicaid with you. That authorization may take care of the misuse of funds issue.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Robert,

    Your income will not be considered in determining your nephew’s eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. If your nephew has no income and you are providing him with shelter and food, his SSI will be reduced from the maximum for the in-kind (non-cash) support you are providing him.

    If he is approved and has enough income to pay his share of shelter and food expenses, his SSI will be increased. Your nephes’s share is the total shelter expenses (and food if food is shared) divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax, and, if required by the lender, property insurance.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Juli,

    To avoid any problems in the future, I recommend that you return the funds to Social Security to be reissued to your brother. Take in the card and the last ATM printout or statement to show the balance on the card. Get a receipt from SSA.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Concerned Mom,

    You can request partial withholding of your daughter’s benefits to collect the overpayment. To avoid future overpayments, report her father’s monthly earnings by the tenth of each month.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kasey,

    You are to use the money first to pay for shelter (rent or mortgage, property taxes, and property insurance), utilities, food, household supplies, transportation costs, etc. These things are used by the whole family, which includes your husband, so no problem there. If there is money left over after that, it should be used for your husband’s medical, dental, and vision care to the extent that insurance doesn’t pay for it and/or to purchase insurance for him.

    By the letter of the law, the money should not be spent on the children’s personal needs; however, I understand the practicality of caring for family. It might be helpful for you to review the worksheet Social Security provides for tracking expenses during the year. It gives a preview of how you will need to divide expenditures for reporting. You can find it near the end of the pamphlet shown at https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10076.pdf.

    By the way, if your husband is receiving Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI) and not Supplemental Security Income (SSI), I suggest checking to see if he worked enough paying into the Social Security insurance program to provide dependent benefits. You can do this by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and asking for the amount of your husband’s family maximum benefit (FMB) and his primary insurance amount (PIA), If the FMB is more than the PIA, dependent benefits are payable for your minor children.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kevin,

    It depends. Often the parent or other adult with physical custody is the child’s payee. One exception is if the custodial adult has committed a felony; then that adult will not be allowed to be payee unless the adult is the parent and there’s no one else to serve as payee.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • General

    I have a friend who is disabled and has ssi he lives in another state and wants to move to we’re I live he has a payee and is mentally unstable he is planing on moving without letting his payee no I wanted to no if he is allowed to do that

    • Dear General,

      If your friend can do what he wants. That said, if he moves without notifying his payee of where he has gone, the payee is supposed to notify Social Security and have the benefits suspended. To get benefits restarted, your friend will need someone in the local area to serve as his payee or submit medical proof that he is capable of managing his benefits himself.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dear Desi,

    Yes, do go back to Social Security immediately and tell them that you made a mistake in suggesting that the child’s grandmother be payee. Quote what the grandmother said and request payment to be suspended again until you can get a responsible payee for the child, one who will not misuse the money. If the neighbor is willing and you really trust him or her, it is more likely that Social Security will approve a local payee. Another alternative is to hire an estate or trust attorney to serve as payee and pay the cost from the SSI payments. You could offer that suggestion to SSA also, but the main thing is to head off payment of the accumulated benefits.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Ashley,

    Please explain who “they are.” That would help me to respond to your question. Also, you might consider having the child’s father be payee and having him give you money for the child’s support on weekends.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Desi,

    Usually payees need to be close enough to check on the welfare of the person for whom they are payee. However, you could try to have an out-of-state person apply. If you do, you and the payee should have a plan that you present in writing on how the individual can serve as your payee and be sure not only that your bills are paid but that you have food and other essentials. Explain the lack of a responsible local person.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Tj

    What if the custodial parent who gave the chikd to the non custodial parent without court order lies and says the chikd still lives with then? Would it matter if the non custodial parent has proff the child lives with them and the custodial parent does not have proof? The non custodial parent has proof the custodial parent told them to take the child. Sorry for to many questions

    • Dear TJ,

      Please see my last response.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tj

    thanks what if the non ustodial parent got xonfused and told the office he does have custody thinking they were asking if the chile is in thier cuatody?

    • Dear TJ,

      Both parents can contact Social Security and make statements to correct the record and the parent with whom the child is living can file an application to be payee. If the parent without physical custody can’t make the statement, look for other proofs such as school records, rental agreements that show residents, etc.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dear TJ,

    The parent who has actual physical custody (the parent the child is living with), regardless of court rulings, usually is made payee for the child.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Mo,

    Please see my response to your last post. You can either share expenses or charge your brother rent. Either way, keep a record of how much goes for household expenses. You could do this by writing yourself a check off his account each month.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Alice,

    Being selected as a representative payee for the management of Social Security benefits is not the same as being appointed guardian. To become your daughter’s guardian, you will have to file in court to be guardian and have the guardianship approved by a judge.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • Alice

      I do not understand why. I am her mother so why should I have to apply for guardian ship? I do make decisions for all her Dr’s visits and medical decisions. She is disabled. I want to Thank you for answering my question.

      • Dear Alice,

        You do not have to apply for guardianship. I thought that you wanted to and were asking whether you had accomplished that by becoming representative payee for her benefits.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Dear LeAnna,

    I would not have expected such a long delay and cannot explain it. Hopefully the person you speak to on Thursday will be able to help.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Marie,

    Your mother and your boyfriend can go to Social Security, declare how long he has been living with your family, and assert misuse of funds because his current payee has not paid for any of his expenses including shelter or food. At the same time, your mother can apply to be payee for him. If possible, they should take some proof, such as school records that show where he lives.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear “Help,”

    There may not be any way to help your friend without getting involved. Perhaps you and she could go to Social Security together and report that the payee has not providing housing since her mother (the payee’s sister ) died. (My guess is that she may not have been misusing money while the mother was alive.) She can report also that she thinks the payee is misrepresenting the amount of funds she receives.

    Perhaps you could serve as payee or help her get social services set up to be her payee. Another alternative is for her to talk with her doctor about her own capability to receive her benefits directly and pay for her own shelter, food, and other needs. If she is physically unable to get out and do grocery shopping or to mail a rent or utility bill, she could still direct the use of her funds and have someone else run errands for her or set up online bill pay. If the doctor thinks she is capable, he can complete an SSA-787 form for her to take to Social Security. The form is available to print at http://www.ecpayee.org/uploads/8/8/7/4/8874367/doctor_statement_ssa_787.pdf.

    You might also help your friend get in touch with your local state our county social services office to see whether she can get attendant services to help with her activities of daily living or help her to move into an assisted living apartment, perhaps with Medicaid paying the bill.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Frustrated,

    I am not sure of the context in which you are concerned about the use of your son’s benefits. I assume that you have either received an annual representative payee reporting form or you are worried about being asked at the hearing about how you are supporting yourself.

    If it is the hearing you are concerned about, all you have to say is that you live with your son and he covers your expenses as a loan. You do not have to say what his source of income is. If it is a reporting form you are concerned about, presumably the bulk of the money has been spent on rent, utilities, household supplies and food with some spent for your son’s clothes and other personal needs. If that is true, very little has been spent on your personal items. If you have kept track of the amount to be able to repay your son, I doubt misuse will be found.

    If your concern is about being approved and then having to explain how you supported yourself so that your benefits can be calculated, Social Security will either accept the loan from your son as a bona fide (real) loan and calculate your benefit without a reduction for support from your son or you will be paid a reduced amount based on his supporting you. Again, it is unlikely that misuse of funds will be a problem. The fact that you are his legal guardian indicates that he needs someone to look after him, so it is reasonable you are living with him even if you don’t have income.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Cheryl,

    The first thing is to clarify what he means by take care of him. If he is living in a private apartment that is government housing or government-subsidized housing and he wants you to live with him, your income could affect his eligibility for the housing or the rental amount. Or, you might have to certified as his care provider to be allowed to live with him apartment. All this information would be obtainable from the housing authority he is getting the assistance from. On the other hand, if he is living in a group home or other type of assisted living, you probably cannot live with him.

    If by “take care of him,” you mean that he has a representative payee or now needs one to receive and manage his benefits, you need to find out what kind of benefits he gets and who administers them. If he gets Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you can take his Social Security number to your local Social Security office and apply to be payee for him, giving the date that you will be moving. If he gets veterans benefits, contact the V.A.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Melissa,

    I would expect that Social Security would make payment temporarily by check and/or instruct your sister to open a new account for her father’s benefits. I suggest that you and your father go to Social Security to report that he has been evicted and that if Social Security has been issuing benefits for your father, the benefits are being misused. If the benefits, in fact, are not being paid, what does your father have to do to get them started again.

    Note that you can apply to be payee for your father based on your sister not taking care of your father’s needs either by misusing the benefits or simply by not doing what was necessary to get the benefits out of suspense if they have been suspended. If possible take the eviction papers with you to to prove the situation.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kyishawn,

    Again, I suggest that you consult with an attorney about how to contest liability for the cards and the purchases that were made that were not for you.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kyshawn,

    I suggest that you report all this in writing to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and keep a copy. That way you will protect yourself from being a party to possible fraud.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • SHERRY ANN WHITLOCK

    so a friend of my daughter 16 years old gets some sort of ssi i think for medical anyways parents use for EVERYTHING besides her and now i found she is getting less because they are giiving half or more to there 21 year old son who is able to work but doesnt want to i want to take this child out of the home i am a payee for my own daughter and was told i could do so if fraud is proven help?

    • Dear Sherry,

      If Social Security is splitting benefits between two siblings, the benefits are Social Security dependents or survivor benefits and the law requires that the benefits be split equally among all qualifying dependents. If the twenty-one-year-old qualifies, Social Security has made the determination that the adult child is disabled. Not all disabilities are visible; however, if you have specific reasons to believe that the adult child falsified medical evidence, then you could report that to Social Security for them to investigate.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Laura Miller

    I am the representative and parent for my two children who will now get benefits under their father. I need to open a bank account up for them. I have a couple pending debts from a few years ago and just want to make sure that their bank accounts cannot be frozen or touched by a debt collector for my bills. Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Laura,

      Your children’s bank accounts should be set up with your children’s social security numbers. The accounts will be in the children’s names and should be set up titled “your child’s name by your name representative payee.” That title reflects that the child owns the money and that you have access to it for fiduciary responsibility only, not ownership. That should prevent debt collection against the accounts, but you might want to discuss the issue with an office of the bank when you set up the accounts.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Darin

        I just found out today I had been getting SSI I’m fifteen years old and my mom hid it from me I don’t know how long I’ve been getting it. All I know is we had a hearing about it all most a year ago and I believe I didn’t want it after a while I’m fully capable to work I have plans to get a job have not been diagnosed with any specific disability. And do well in school. I’m not sure what to do and if what she did was illegal or not. I don’t know what she spent it on.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Darin,

          Are you sure that you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits and not Social Security dependent or survivor benefits on your mother’s or father’s earnings records because one of them is disabled, retired or deceased?

          If you are pretty sure the benefits are disability benefits and you are not under care of a physician and do not take medication for any physical or mental health or severe behavioral problems, I suggest that you ask your mother how it is that you are getting disability benefits. If you do not get a satisfactory answer, you can report to Social Security that you do not understand why your mother is receiving benefits for you because you are not disabled mentally or physically. If she has falsified medical records, that would be illegal.

          If you are eligible for benefits, your mother has responsibilities as your payee to use the benefits for your basic needs. She would presumably have used the benefits to pay for your housing, utilities, food, clothing, personal hygiene items, school supplies, and other necessities.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • J

    My daughter receives SSI benefits her brother does not my question is can she use some of her money to give to him as a gift once all her needs are met

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear J.,

      How old is your daughter and are you her payee?

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Hi i just found my mom passed away a year ago and now my check came in as a paper form how can i cash it or what can i doo it was coming in a direct deposit but they said my mom change that just this month but how ..so can i deposit the check in a bank pliss help

    • My mom is my payee

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Reina,

        See my response to your first posting.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Reina,

      If the paper check came in your mother’s name for you, you will have to return the check and either apply to be your own payee or have someone else apply. Then the benefits will be reissued to the correct person.

      You said that your mother died a year ago, which raises the question of who has been accessing your mother’s account and paying for your shelter and food and other needs with your benefits. Stated another way, who has unofficially been acting as your payee and has that person used all the funds for you? Lastly, if your mother was insured for Social Security survivor benefits, depending on your age and when you became disabled, you may be eligible for survivor benefits on her account. I suggest that you inquire about it at the Social Security Administration.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Terry

    My dad gets SSDI and wants me to be his payee. How do I go about getting it changed so that I am his payee?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Terry,

      You can file an application in your local Social Security office. If you father is well enough to go to the office with you, it could be helpful for him to make a statement regarding why he wants you to be his payee.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • kelly

    My father has Schizophrenia my Mother is his payee and has been for over 40 years. My father has been ditching his meds and the drug addict next door is filling his head full of lies so he is telling people he is going to make her his payee behind my Mothers back. Is he able to do that without my mother consent? My father turned 67 last year so they switched is ssdi to pension also.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kelly,

      If your father lives with your mother, it is unlikely the neighbor will be made payee. Nevertheless, I suggest that you and your mother go to Social Security to report that there may be an effort by your father and the neighbor to change the payee. In the report include the information that the neighbor is a drug addict.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • I am on disability, Is it against the rules to put his paycheck into my account so he can cash it.????? disability is telling me they are going to report me to the Attorney General office why?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lisa,

      Whose check are you referring to and what kind of a check is it? Are you the person’s representative? When I have this information, I will try to respond.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Smurphy

    I’m just writing because my mom is on SSI and her payee is trying to tell her what she can spend her money on. I tried to take over as payee for my mom and they told me I had to have a job but reason I tried to take over was my mom would go to the bank to cash her checks and she would have over 100 bucks at the end of the month then on the first it was gone. When I went to get the stuff switched over they called the current payee and when my mom went to cash check and see how much in the account the ladies at the bank told my mom there’s a law in NY State now that if you have a payee you have go to the payee to see the amount they cant tell you at the bank. Is this a law or not?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Smurphy,

      Your mother has a representative payee because some aspect of her disability indicates that she is not able to handle her benefits and make good decisions to pay for rent, utilities, food, medical and dental care, personal hygiene items, necessary clothing, and other necessities before spending the money on other things. It is the payee’s job to decide how to spend the money. That said, all the money should be spent on your mother and if there’s money available, she should be given some money for occasional entertainment and/or spending money. If your mother thinks that the money is being misused, she can ask Social Security to request an early accounting. Your mother could also ask her payee to give her an accounting each month of how the money was spent. The payee is not required to do so, but might be willing to.

      I don’t know about New York banking laws, but you should be able to check with a banking regulatory organization of the state to find out.(The payee is the only one who has access to the funds in the account, so it is possible that could mean that information could be revealed only to the payee.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Brittany

    I am the rep payee for my brother who has mental disabilities. He recently has been in and out of the mental unit at the hospital. Last time he didn’t come home and said he was no longer living with me. I’ve told him he still has a room here.
    He has been staying with a girl who is also mentally unstable. He wants her to become his payee. And keeps telling me that I need to give him his bank information (statements, login info) his bank card, etc.
    Yesterday he and the girl showed up at my house high and drunk wanting money. I fear that he is doing drugs and she is helping him get them. I don’t want to give him money but have told him I would pay his rent and bills by check and buy what he needs.but he refuses to give me anything stating what the rent and bills are.
    He is waiting til the first to see if he can move in with this girl. Is there anything I can do to prevent him from making this girl his payee? And am I required to give him money?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brittany,

      I suggest that you go to a Social Security office right away and report the situation and your willingness to continue to be your brother’s payee. Tell them how you would do that, the same as you told me. Be sure to mention the girl’s use of drugs and/or alcohol, which you have witnessed.

      Your brother’s lack of cooperation in letting you pay for his share of the rent and utilities (and food if they are sharing food) may cause his SSI to be reduced because he is getting in-kind (non-cash) support and maintenance in the form of free shelter. Perhaps if you tell him this, he will be willing to give you the information needed to pay his bills.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Patrick

    I am receiving a government check every month because my mom has a heart disability, I have just started receiving the church and signing for it as of my 18th birthday, how long will I be recieving these checks? As they will come in handy in college if they continue to come?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Patrick,

      Your Social Security dependent benefits will stop the earlier of when you graduate from high school or your nineteenth birthday.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Regan

    Hi, i have ssdi can my mom be payee and live at another address? She is only about 30 min away i have my own vehicle? I live in Texas!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Regan,

      Yes, your mother can be your representative payee without living with you because she lives close enough to know what your needs are and take care of paying them for you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jerry Ferguson

    My older sister was the payee for my other sister who is disabled and in a care home. My older sister passed away last year and there was nothing in place for her funeral expenses. I became the payee for my still living payee. I want to make sure that my living sister funeral needs were taken care of. So this pas year I have used her ss money to pay for her preneed which took almost the hole year of her money she received.I have received the form to fill out where I used the money. I am concerned if I list it as other that this is NOT a approved use of the money. I have all the payment information for the plan. I do not want there to be any problem with her benefits moving forward. I have had other say to list food and clothing but would like to be honest. Please advise.
    Thank you for you help
    Jerry

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jerry,

      Yes, you want to complete the statement honestly. Using some of your sister’s benefits to pay for a burial (or cremation) policy is an appropriate use of funds as long as your sister’s current needs have been taken care of. Note that if she receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in addition to or instead of Social Security benefits, let me know and I will provide some information about burial policies and SSI resource (asset) limits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Steve Tessman

        Our adult daughter has been receiving SSDI (mental illness) for a year. Her mother and I decided it would be better for her to live with us instead of a group home since her illness forced her home over 2 years ago. I recently have been assigned as representative payee for her. She has returned working 2 days per week but cannot drive so we drive her 100 miles each day. We also provide all her transportation for doctor, therapy, and meetings with her community mental health manager. Our situation presents 2 significant issues for us:
        1. SSA guidelines state she can own a car but since she cannot drive that does not seem practical. I could probably be listed as a co-owner to secure insurance to be her driver for her use only. But I don’t know if there is a better option. Can we be reimbursed for mileage to offset the cost of transportation for her?

        2. Since she is living in our home under our care, what is the best approach her determine her share of the shelter, food, and utilities. Can we simply divide total cost by the number of occupants (3 in this case)?

        I understand as representative payee I cannot (and I would not want to) be paid a fee. What is the best means to account for the funds used for her living and transportation needs?

        Thanks in advance.

        Steve T.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Steve,

          It is reasonable for your daughter to pay for her transportation to and from work. I suggest using the IRS rate allowed for medical expense deductions for all the transportation that you provide. Keep a mileage trip log and write yourself a monthly check off her account so you have a record of the expense. You can report estimated impairment-related work expenses (see below) when you report that she has started to work.

          Note that if your daughter’s disability is keeping her from driving and you can get a medical statement to that effect, she may be able to claim impairment-related work expenses for evaluation of her work activity related to performing substantial gainful activity (SGA) and use a Trial Work Period (TWP) month. You can read about these work incentives in Social Security’s Red Book, which is available online at http://www.ssa.gov.

          Because your daughter is receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) and not Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you can charge your daughter any amount up to her share. Her share is the total expenses divided by the number of people in the household.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Kyishawn Archie

    I am 19 and I get a disability check. Federal and State check. My mother told me that I don’t get a check and I found out she was lying to me and I make near 700 a month and to come to find out she is my representative but I didn’t sign anything. And credit cards are in my name I didn’t sign up for but she has my social security. No one has proven i’m incompetent. And plus they were going to cut it at 18 but bought it back so agreements would have to be made right. This is forgery right? Especially credit cards right.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kyishawn,

      If your mother is using your federal and state SSI for your support (food, shelter, clothing, personal hygiene items, medical treatment, entertainment, etc.), then she is acting responsibly as your representative payee, assuming that all of your benefits have been used for you. You can apply to receive your own benefits by filing an application to do so. It would be helpful to have a competency statement from our physician, which can be obtained on form SSA-787. The form can be found online at http://www.ecpayee.org/uploads/8/8/7/4/8874367/doctor_statement_ssa_787.pdf.

      I cannot advise you about the credit cards. I suggest checking with a legal aid office or contacting your state’s bar association to see whether there are any attorneys who would provide pro bono advice about how to deal with the credit cards opened in your name. If that is unsuccessful, you could try contacting the credit card companies directly.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Alexandra Klein

    I have a mental disability and have been on Disability since I was 14. My mother is my payee, but I am not sure if it’s is because I was underage at that time or if I was found mentally incapable. She is moving out of state and I need to have my check put into my name in my new address if I move. Will this change cause my benefits to stop if I do go by my psychiatrist and he deems me fit to handle all my financial needs? Will they need to revaluate me at all? Will I still get the same amount that I do monthly now?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Alexandra,

      You do not say whether you are still a minor or are now age eighteen or older. If you are no longer a minor you can apply to receive your benefits directly. As you suggest, it would be helpful to have a statement from your psychiatrist as to your capability to handle money and consistently pay for your basic needs of food and shelter and basic self-care and medical co-pays before anything else. The doctor can include on the statement, if it is true, that your condition has not improved in terms of ability to work. He could add a sentence or two about the symptoms you continue to have that preclude work. The statement can be made on form SSA-787, which is available online at http://www.ecpayee.org/uploads/8/8/7/4/8874367/doctor_statement_ssa_787.pdf.

      If you are receiving Social Security dependent benefits on a parent’s earnings record, your move will not affect your payment amount. If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a change in living arrangements may or may not change your payment. Whether you live alone or with someone else, if you pay for your own shelter and food (including with a food-stamp card), your SSI benefit will not be reduced because of the change in living arrangements.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Anna

    My daughter’s receive dependent benefits. It’s been about a year and I was under the impression that I would have to fill out a questionnaire online. Stating how the funds were used. I can’t find anything on my SS.gov page, and have received nothing via the mail. Are these forms available somewhere online and are they due every year.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Anna,

      The forms are posted online, but different forms are used for different circumstances; therefore I suggest that you wait for the form to be sent to you. Be sure to keep SSA informed of your mailing address so notices and requests reach you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • SDhandler

    Took in emergency removal child. She is the niece of my wife. We applied for social security. Finally approved a week before girl turned 18.

    S.S. stated wife is payee for pay due to girl’s inability to manage her own care.

    Girl turns 18, and moves in with boyfriend and his mom. Girl mentions to mom that there is a back pay amount of 2 years and monthly check. Boyfriend’s mom is attempting to have her name added to the girl’s social security paperwork to have access to back pay and monthly funds.

    We understand that monthly funds do not fall into our scope since we she is no longer under our roof. How do we make sure back pay is provided to us for managing her affairs for 2 years?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear SDhandler,

      The back pay belongs to the child, now a young adult, not to you, even though you took care of her. I suggest that you get some legal advice to see whether you could get a court-appointed guardian or conservator for the young woman if she is incapable of handling her own funds. Then the guardian could apply to be payee and manage the money paying the family with whom she is living for her housing and food, taking her shopping for clothing, paying her medical and dental bills, and giving her an allowance. Or, you could talk to Social Security about remaining her payee. If you do that, you would need to use the back pay for the disabled beneficiary–not to repay yourself.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Shanell

    I am receiving disabled adult child benefits my sister is my payee,I have mild mental retardation will I be able to be my own payee yes /no Why / why not?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shanell,

      To receive your benefits directly, you must be able to track your financial needs, pay bills on time, and make sound judgements on how to use your benefits,always paying for housing, utilities, food, and medical and dental care before other purchases. If you think you can do this, I suggest that you discuss the matter with your physician. If your doctor thinks you are capable for handling your funds, ask the doctor to complete an SSA 787, which can be found online at http://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/ssa827_informationpage.htm. Then take the completed form to Social Security and apply to be your own payee.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jessica

    My duaghter recieves ssi because her father has a disability. We are no longer together and my duaghter is in my full care and he doesnt give me the money. Is there anyway i can change the payee from my ex to me?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jessica,

      The benefits your daughter is receiving are Social Security dependents benefits, not SSI, which is Supplemental Security Income. You can go to Social Security and apply to be payee for your daughter so that her benefits come to you for her support. Take with you her Social Security number and any proof you have of her living with with such as school records or a court order.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Maureen

    My adult cousin has been receiving social security since childhood due to a disability. When his father passed away, he started to receive social security on his father’s account. His mother was the payee. Recently, his mother died and his sister, who is now his caregiver, has been trying have her name replace his mother’s name as payee. Instead of just changing the payee, social security stopped the checks. Then they started the payments again but not on his father’s account as before. The checks went from $800 to less than $150. Needless to say this has placed an extreme financial burden on the caregiver. One medication costs over $200. What can rectify this problem? The double stress of the loss of their mother and this decision by social security has started to affect the physical and mental health of all involved and concerned family members have been providing much needed support. Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Maureen,

      It sounds as if some error has been made. Changing payees should not change the payment amount or cause benefit entitlement to stop. If there is an old overpayment on the account, it is possible that the overpayment is being collected. If that is the case, the new payee can request a smaller amount be withheld each month. The payee’s next step is to go to Social Security to request an explanation and to appeal the amount if need be.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Keyonna

      They got my information along with my bank account information for my daughter to be representative payee. Does that mean she is approved and how long after will I know anything?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Keyonna,

        It appears that your daughter has been approved. If she was approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), she should receive benefits within a month or less. If she was approved for Social Security Disability (SSD) dependent benefits, it could take two months or more.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Mike

      I was appointed my wifes payee due to her mental illness. She never allows me to touch any of her money, and now has taken my name completely off her checking account. Now she is trying to change her direct deposit claiming I am stealing all her money. Which I am not. Is whats shes doing legal? And what can I do about it?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Mike,

        What your wife is doing is not illegal; however, she cannot change the direct deposit; only you can as long as you are her payee. You can use her money to pay for her shelter and food and medical needs and take her shopping for clothes and personal items (or give her the money for clothes and incidentals if you think she would use it appropriately) and give her an allowance from the rest.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • My question is I have a mental disability with a payee for my SSI. My payee declined to be my page and it took 2 months to get my check and I fell behind on my title pawn. I took the title pawn out without my payees knowledge. Do I have to have prior approval before I took the loan out for my car? Also can they take my car if I have a mental disability and have been found incompetent to make financial decisions? Thank you very much

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Frazier,

      It would have been advisable to discuss your plan to pawn the car with your payee before doing it to look for other solutions. If you or a new payee has now gotten your back pay and you still own the car, there is an opportunity to pay the title pawn off and protect your car. I cannot answer your question about the legal rights of the pawn broker or any protection you might have under the law due to your mental disability. I suggest that you try to get some guidance from an attorney that does pro bono work.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ashley

    I have a question. I am my boyfriends payee. We have lived together for 9 years. He recently started working. Well I had a phone interview to evaluate his money. They asked my income. Why would they need my income?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ashley,

      Social Security does not need information about your income because you are not married–this presumes that you do not live in a common-law marriage where you have told people you are married.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lynn

    My friends son was disabled as a minor and received benefits until Sept 2015. Her son began using drugs and was homeless. He did not go to the dr. Or take his meds. Disability is now asking to be paid back for the benefits. His mother does not have contact with the son, and she does not have money to pay disability back.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lynn,

      If your friend accepted SSI checks for her son when he was not living with her ande did not use his benefits to support him after he moved out and/or did not report his moving out and his new living arrangements caused the overpayment, she may be liable for the overpayment. If she is, she can request collection by small monthly payments. If she thinks she was not at fault in causing the overpayment, she can complete an SSA-632 stating why she was not at fault and presenting proof of inability to repay.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jeff Phillips

    Does my wife have to consider this income for her if she is my payee? Does that mean it is taxable forget?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jeff,

      Your benefits are your income, not your wife’s. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is not taxable. All or a portion of Social Security is taxable depending on your income bracket. For more specific information, I suggest consulting with the IRS or a tax accountant.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Alison

    I am 26 years of age. I was told early on that I wouldn’t be able to be my own payee. Now I am of the age to take care of my funds. I am fearful that social security will deny me as my own payee. Currently my mom is my payee. I am working on managing my own funds however I am afraid that social security will deny me handling my funds.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Alison,

      I suggest discussing your ability to manage your own money with your doctor. If the doctor agrees that you are capable, he or she can complete an SSA-787 form for you to take to Social Security when you apply to be your own payee. You can get the form online at http://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/ssa827_informationpage.htm.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Alison

        Kay,

        Thank you for letting me know. I’m currently starting the process of the Doctor filling out the form. Im definitely concerned about the outcome when it comes to social security since the doctor know I’m on top of knowing about my finances and having involvement with my finances alongside my payee. He does see that I’m capable however I’m fearing that social security will deny me the chance of being my own payee.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Alison.

  • Natalie Braxton

    Hi Kay,

    I received a letter from SSA today that has a Representative Payee Report in it. I have been getting SSDI benefits for a year now and I have also been receiving auxiliary benefits for my daughter who is 12 for a year as well. In this letter it is asking questions about how the money for my daughter is being used. I am a little concerned how I should be filling this out. I have saved some of my daughters money. But I also use that money to buy her clothes, food, and help with the bills too. I didn’t know that I had to keep tabs on it. Are they going to want me to send in receipts for everything? You have always been so helpful Kay, and I want to thank you in advance for your suggestions on how I am supposed to fill this out. Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Natalie,

      Complete the form with the exact amount you saved and your best estimates for other categories of spending. Do not say “bills” because it is too vague. If you used some of the for rent/mortgage and utilities, call it that. It is unlikely you will asked for receipts if everything adds up to the amount you received for her. Then, keep records over the next year to make it easier.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Natalie Braxton

        Thank you so much for helping me out with this letter Kay!! =)

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Natalie.

      • Stephanie

        Hi Kay,

        My mother has temporary guardianship of my two year old and when she had me sign documents to legally have her, she had my childhood friend, who I considered as my sister, notarize my document. Now I have been told she cannot do that in Iowa because she is a person of interest, and she was ALSO friends with the lawyer she suggested my parents. Also, she had my sister tell me ONLY WHAT SHE WANTED ME TO KNOW. The papers were signed in either February or March, and I am just learning about this. She had me meet her alone, and she didn’t read the whole thing. My mother is also gambling the child support money I pay her. Please help

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Stephanie,

          If your child does not receive Social Security or SSI benefits with you or your mother as representative payee, this is not a question I can answer except in a very general way. If you do not think you mother is a suitable guardian and there is someone else who might be able to serve, you can change the guardianship since it appears to have been a voluntary appointment on your part. Seek help from a different family law attorney if needed. The issue of whether your close friend failed to support your interests seems to be a separate issue and may not be the cause of the current problem.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Natalie Braxton

        Kay,

        Thank you for explaining this Rep. Payee Form. I am almost done but I was wondering if you could help me with 3 more questions I have.

        1) I am finished filling everything out and at the bottom where the signature part is confusing me. It asked for Payee’s signature. So I signed MY name. Then it has 2 witness signature lines. But it says that “witness signatures are required only if the payees signature above has been signed by mark (x)” I am confused, what does that mean? do I need witnesses to sign?

        2) Is SSA going to ask me to send back the savings money I set aside for my daughter from her monthly checks? I saved her $3,000 (my neighbor just scared me and said they are going to take it all from us)

        3) Lastly, Kay do you know when these Representative payee reports are due? I do not see a due date listed anywhere in these documents. (my neighbor also said that if I do not turn in quickly, SSA will stop my daughters check this month)

        Kay, thank you so much in advance. I never thought such a small paper could cause all this huge stress on me! But, I sure appreciate your help though Kay!

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Natalie,

          If it says witnesses are needed if the signature is an X, then you do not need witnesses. Because your child is getting Social Security benefits, you can save any amount. I don’t know the window you are given to return the report, but I would strive to get it in the mail at least two weeks after you receive it.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Yvonne

    Hi, I have a question for example my friend is receiving SSI under his mother’s names and he is out of his mother household, by not living with her for long time. Can both of them or his mother will get in trouble for not report the change in living arrangements?

    Thank you,

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Yvonne,

      If your friend is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and not a Social Security benefit, then his move out of the household needs to be reported immediately to set the record straight. It is possible that the move has not affected the payment amount, but his current living arrangements need to be evaluated. I suggest that your friend and his mother go to Social Security to report the change.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Rachel

    I am the temporary guardianship of a 15 year old child who received SS death benefits from her fathers death. The court ordered her check to come to me as her representative payee. We do not have a bedroom for her. She shares with my daughter. Are we allowed to use her money to build her a bedroom on to our house?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rachel,

      Using the child’s benefits to give her a private room seems like a good idea. The only problem I see is that you are building a permanent structure that you will own permanently and she will be leaving. Even if the guardianship continues longer than you think, she will eventually grow up and move out of, leaving you with the long-term benefit of having a larger house. This might be mitigated by giving her partial ownership in the house so that if the house is sold or when you die, she would get her investment back.

      All that said, I suggest that you consult with the court that granted you guardianship if the guardianship has any fiduciary responsibilities included in it. Also, talk with the Social Security Administration to get their guidance and perhaps get legal advice.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tara

    I am the payee of a 17 year old that decided 3 weeks ago he didn’t like doing chores and decided to move out. He still has all of his belongings at my house, but has been sleeping on other peoples couches. He found a friend whose parents are trying to talk him into making them his payee. Is he able to do this at 17? I told him that until he can make it on his own and not living on people’s couches I wouldn’t just hand him over money, but I would take care of needs as they arise. He is determined to have this couple he barely knows as his payee.

    • Tara

      I am also the guardian

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tara,

      I suggest that you visit Social Security and go on the record about what is going on and that your ward barely knows the couple. Also, he does not have his own room in the house and that you have told him that you will use his funds to pay for his food and other needs.

      Something to think about is that the couple may want to be payee because they want to collect some rent and food money, assuming they are providing such. That could be “fixed” by giving them or your ward money for his food and giving them an amount appropriate for crashing on a couch–maybe a hundred and fifty bucks, if he is living there full time.

      One other thing to consider: You do not say whether he is receiving Social Security benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If he is receiving SSI and he is out of your household, you have to report the change in living arrangements, which could result in a reduction in benefits. You might discuss that with him to give him a chance to come home before his absence turns into more than a temporary absence.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Blake

    Hey. I have a quick question. I receive SSDI benefits for myself due to being disabled. My daughter also received benefits. I was initially made payee; however, my ex wife had that changed because our old court papers show her as having primary custody. I say old papers because they are from a state in which she does not live anymore and I never lived in. We now share custody but I cannot afford to have our papers changed. She finally got a really good job making $45,000 a year. I live off of my $14,000 disability. Will Social Security allow me to be the payee without having our custody papers changed? I have a really hard time providing for her when she’s with me while her mom is living it up! Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Blake,

      As long as your wife is payee, she should be giving your a percentage of your daughter’s benefits to cover her expenses during the time that she is with you–minimally money for food and any other needs. You should give her a receipt for what you receive. You might discuss such an informal arrangement with your ex-wife. If she is not receptive and you decide to apply to be payee and become payee, you need to do the same–share the child’s benefits with her for the time your daughter is with her.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Morgan

    My daughters father finally got approved for ssdi. Our daughter is 9 and lives with me. Shouldn’t she be receiving benefits as well? We had split up before his approval. But I’ve never received anything about her getting benefits. Could he be getting them for her? I’ve called ss and they set me up an appt for the end of sept. Just curious as to if she is suppose to get benefits. And if he is receiving hers but not supporting her what happens?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Morgan,

      The fact that you have been given an appointment indicates that your daughter may be eligible for benefits. If her father has been receiving benefits for her and you state that you have received no money from him for her support, Social Security will investigate. If they can get the money back, it will be reissued to you. Take any proof you have that the child lives with you, such as grade reports or other correspondence from her school or a rental agreement that shows a child in the household.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jim

    If an SSI recipient moves to the same property as the payee, effectively making the payee the landlord of the recipient, what is the distinction between a “shared household” and strictly renting a room/space from the payee?

    The payee doesn’t intend to provide in-kind support/maintenance as to not jeopardize the already-tiny ssi payment the disabled recipient receives, and intends to charge the recipient the full fair amount of rent and utilities for the allotted space.

    How is in-kind support and maintenance determined in this situation? Furthermore how can a payee clearly establish that the recipient is merely renting a space, rather than sharing a household, despite the address being the same?

    Thank you for your time.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jim,

      The payee and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipient can live in the same household. Any payments made by the recipient to you for housing and/or food should be done with a check off the recipient’s bank account made out to you. Keep copies of the checks for proof of payment.

      Fair market value (FMV) for food would reasonably be the maximum food stamp grant for one person, which is $194.00. FMV for room is the amount such rooms are renting for in your geographic area. Social Security law does not specify an amount required to be paying fair market value for room because the economy is different in every location. You can figure out a fair market rental rate by looking at ads for room rentals in your area or by choosing state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. It will not list rooms, but it will list studio or efficiency (one-room) apartments. A room in a house would probably be about half of that amount.

      Share is the total shelter and grocery expenses (if food is shared) divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance.

      To document the arrangement, you write up a statement that states
      1. When the person moved in.
      2. That the person is a renter, or a room and boarder, or is part of the household paying his or her share.
      3. Include the amount of room rent including utilities or the amount of room and board being paid or the amount contributed to the household for his or her share. (If sharing is the case, submit proof of the shelter expenses.)
      4. The total food cost for the household if sharing food applies.
      5. A list of the other people in the household including you.

      If the disabled person doesn’t have enough monthly income to do this, you could save up her SSI until she has enough saved to cover her share or FMV for two months. If this is necessary, you should save in the recipient’s bank account to prove the person had the money available to pay the share of FMV. SSI will increase two months after share of FMV is first paid.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Maria

      I don’t keep any records of what I spent on my daughter. She is 25. It’s just me and her son I spent accordingly to what she needs. Rent food clothing entertainment. Now Ssi says she was pay an overpayment and I don’t know how to fill out the paper they sent me for the waiver and reconsideration. This is stressing me out. I don’t know what to do . need help please !!!!!

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Maria,

        Do your best to estimate how much of your daughter’s money is used for each category of her and her son’s needs–housing, food, clothing, toilet articles, medical, transportation etc. Just think of everything you pay for her with her money and start estimating the largest items first. Be sure the amounts add up to what she gets unless you have saved some. In the future, keep receipts because, as payee, you have to account for the use of her money even if there is no overpayment.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Krista

    My husband was just approved for ssdi. I am the representative payee. He has Tbi from motorcycle accident My husband myself and our 23 year old daughter live together in same house. We have been married over 25 years. Our bills are our bills after 25 years of marriage not his bills or my bills. We also help our daughter going to college. I work full time and make decent money. I am going to continue to work. If my husband and I agree how to spend our money responsibly as a married couple that benefits our family but the rules for payee… I confused because it doesn’t really address a spouse living in same household as a married couple still make decisions together. Once his lump sum arrived we owe his brother 1200. We want to pay our parental student loan we took for our daughter but it may be only in my name but it’s our daughter we have been married 25 years. Can I pay that bill? Seems ridiculous.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Krista,

      Your husband, if he were his own payee, could pay the student loan even if it is in only your and your daughter’s names. So, your first step is to check to see if your husband’s name is on the loan. If it is, you can use his back pay to pay it off as long as doing so does not interfere with meeting his current and future needs including medical insurance premiums, medical and dental care.

      As payee, you can repay the loan from your brother-in-law because it was made to your husband as well as you. However, as his payee, you cannot use his benefits to pay your daughter’s debts or your debts even though you are married and living in the same household.

      Because you are a single household, you can choose to use less of your money to pay for household and food expenses and more of his, thus freeing up your income to make payments on the parental student loan.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jennifer

    Hi, I live with my parents, one of which is my Payee Representative. Am i allowed to use a part of my benefits to help pay bills every month, that aren’t in my name?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jennifer,

      You can and should pay your share of the household’s shelter and, if you are sharing food, your share of the groceries. When you pay your share, you are eligible for more benefits than if you don’t. Your share is the total expenses divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Vivian

      I have a question I am my son’s paid 4 years I’m on disability myself SSD and he’s on SSD I’ve had a bank account with my sister in case of anything and she uses it for herself also my son SSD because I’m his pee comes to my bank as well as mine would they consider my sister’s money that’s in the bank that she puts in the paper bills from another County as part of mine

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Vivian,

        Social Security Disability (SSD) is an earned benefit and does not have income and asset restrictions so it does not matter that your sister uses your bank account. What does matter is that, as your son’s representative payee, you keep your son’s SSD benefits separate from your income and that you not mix your sister’s or anyone else’s money with his. The reason is that you have to account for the use of his benefits and if you combine funds you may not be able to track and prove that you are using his money all for him and for no one else.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Kari

    I am the rep. payee for my mother who suffers from both mental and physical disabilities however her mental disabilities is why she requires me. She has been separated from her husband around 5 years now (they were only married about 4 before they separated and during theses past 5 years she has lived with him on and off) although they are not legally divorced. He is not a good person. He takes, uses and always looks out only for his best interest. Yesterday I was informed that she is moving in with him again and they are leaving PA (where we all live) and moving to South Carolina so he can be closer to his brother before winter (next month or two).

    This worries me so much. When she is with him he keeps her doped up on her/his medication and she doesn’t function or leave her room. She doesn’t eat, wets herself and he does nothing to stop/help that. She has horrible memory issues (possibly the beginning of alhzlmers???) and he uses that against her (in his best interest). And with her in her comatose state he takes all his and her money and blows it on “toys”. Their bills never get paid on time when he is in control of the money (if they get pai at all) and he owes the IRS A LOT of money for unpaid taxes. I know he has not changed and is still a shady individual (she’s telling me he has a job under the table so it doesn’t hurt them collecting their SSI which completely disgusts me).

    My question is…is there anything I can do to stop her from moving seeing that I’m her rep. payee for mental reasons? I honestly don’t know how I could continue being her rep. since I live in PA and she’s moving to SC and fear she’s going to try to transfer the responsibility over to him which would just be another horrible mistake. If so many things were different I would be happy for her but they are not so I can’t. Her moving from PA to SC alone isn’t good but with him it’s a huge mistake. Plus all her doctors are here. I know there are doctors there too but when your antipsychotic bipolar have osteoporosis and skin cancer to just name a few of her ailments you can’t just pack up and go. And 1 of the huge reasons to leave so quickly is because he owes taxes on his trailer by September or else it goes up for sheriff sale (which he’s somehow postponed a few times but hasn’t made good on his payments) and his electric bill is up to about $10,000 (no lie) and he has to pay it by Nov. 27th or else they will shut off service and they won’t turn it back on until he (now they) pay it.

    Please HELP!!!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kari,

      Without going to court and having your mother declared legally incompetent, you have no authority over where your mother lives. If she were declared incompetent, there’s no guarantee you could keep her from moving with her husband. Here are a couple choices I can think of:

      1. You could explain to Social Security why your mother’s husband should not be her payee and why you should continue to be payee from a distance with the following strategy to take care of her. You could pay the utility bills directly to the utility companies and the trailer space rental directly, use her money to buy her clothes and toilet articles and mail them to her, and perhaps set up a groceries-only account for her use in the town where she will be living.

      2. If she is really receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and not Social Security, you could tell her if she moves in with him again that you will report her husband’s working because you do not want to be party to her and him breaking the law. You could explain that depending on how much he is making, she may lose her benefits if she chooses to live with him.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • T. Evette

        Hi Kay.

        I couldn’t figure out how to post a question so I just thought I’d reply to the most recent thread under this topic to ask my question. I hope this is okay.

        I handled the entire SSDI application process for my husband who had a massive bleeding stroke in 2008. The stroke left him with a July 2015 diagnosis of major vascular neurocognitive disorder, which is also called vascular dementia in the DSM coding manual. My husband also got a behavioral disturbance diagnosis at the same time of the major vascular neurocognitive disorder diagnosis. Both were considered to be life conditions at the time of their diagnosis. I started the SSDI application process in December 2015 and he was approved in April 2016.

        Since his stroke in 2008 he has suffered countless seizures (epilepsy), an ischemic stroke in 2013 and, of course, the effects of major vascular neurocognitive disorder that includes a borderline IQ of 73, increased apathy, inability to process info, over estimation of his own abilities to his own detriment and other effects on his memory. Personally I have witnessed other things such as mood swings, excessive sleeping and defiance.

        His driving privileges are often suspended because of his seizures but he has gone against state law and driven on numerous ocassions. This is part of his behavioral disturbance. If it’s illogical or unsafe, he seems to be drawn to it.

        I drive our son to and from school, to parties, to parks, museums and vacations and have for nearly 4 years. My husband has never even bathed our son due to the right side paralysis caused by his stroke in 2008. I manage the day to day affairs of our son as my husband doesn’t have the ability physically or cognitively to do much but focus on himself.

        I purposely did not request to be payee administrator for my husband though technically I think he needs one. His behavioral disturbance over the duration of our marriage (it gets worse with each round of seizures) has taught me that fighting with him is useless and creates unnecessary stress. He really doesn’t think he’s sick and tries his best to convince others that there is nothing wrong with him. He is angry at me for helping him. He is defiant toward authority. I feel sorry for him and I don’t want to take away all semblance of his independence. So he handles his own SSDI benefits, but it’s not very logical or to his best interest.

        I am payee administrator for our son who receives auxiliary benefits based on my husband’s income history. Today my husband took an entire day to ride buses to the local SSA office to find out how he can become payee administrator for our son.

        I inquired a few months ago about this because I know how my husband’s brain operates. He is just plain difficult. I figured it was only a matter of time before he started to think the monthly auxiliary check for our son is really his money. I was right.

        I was told a few months ago when I inquired that my husband could get a letter from his doctor stating he is capable of being the payee administrator for our son.

        I question how that can happen if one of the reasons his SSDI was approved was due to the major vascular neurocognitive disorder diagnosis . In fact, the medical report that outlines that particular diagnosis is listed as the first document used to approve his SSDI application.

        1. Can my husband be a payee administrator for our son given his diagnosis and the life long prognosis? 2. If he got a letter stating he is able to be a payee administrator for our son, doesn’t that in essence mean he is not disabled or he doesn’t have the diagnosis that supported his application being approved?

        I doubt he would try to get a letter from any of his neurologists who know the real impact the strokes and seizures have had on his brain. However, he might try to get a letter from his primary care doctor who never provided documentation for the SSDI application and who is my husband’s “yes” doctor. He does for my husband things his neurologists would never consider because they know the extent of his brain damage.

        4. Would a letter from his primary care doctor be sufficient for my husband to be approved as payee administrator for our son given that doctor never provided a report for the SSDI application and his specialty is not in the area of my husband’s disability?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear T.,

          A letter from the primary care physician could be sufficient for your husband to become payee for your son. Of course, you do not know whether he got the letter. Unless he appointed you his health care representative, you probably cannot find out from the doctor.

          What you can do is go to Social Security and oppose the payee application. Ask whether to oppose the application, you have to file a new application yourself. Be prepared to give reasons on why your husband should not be made the child’s payee. If he is using his own funds irresponsibly, give specific examples. For example, if you have had to pay use all the child’s benefits for basic food and shelter with nothing left for the child’s other needs because your husband is not paying enough of those costs from his check, let Social Security know. Also be prepared to respond if you are asked why you didn’t apply to be your husband’s payee when you filed the claim or anytime since given that you don’t think he is competent to be representative payee for your son.

          If you have the medical report from 2015, take a copy with you. That would support your continuing as payee for your child and support that your husband is still disabled. (Some people disabled by cognitive problems are capable of serving as their own payee and your husband already gets his own check, so I doubt his trying to be payee for his child will make a difference in his eligibility.)

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • T. Evette

            I see. I thought SSA didn’t allow the disabled individual to be a payee administrator for anyone but themselves?

            That report and the fact that I take care of all the minor child’s day to day needs, and my husband’s neurocognitive disorder is the same as vascular dementia should be sufficient to counter any attempts he might make.
            His disability is chronic, unlikely to improve and could worsen with another stroke (per that report). So unless SSA takes vascular dementia lightly I just dont see how they can approve making him a payee admin.

            I didn’t want to be my husband’s payee administrator because (in a nutshell) the disorder makes him “crazy” and quite difficult to deal with. I don’t want that monthly headache. It’s hard enough given his diagnosis and prognosis.

  • Quenlena

    Hey kay. My sister passed a couple of months ago and I am now the payee for my nephews. The month after she passed funds for them went to a direct express card issued to her. The card was frozen and I notified social security administration. Seen 3 different representives but none seem to know what to do to get the funds. I also called the customer service for direct express and all they can tell me is to contact social security administration. Do you have any knowledge of what I can do to get their funds for that month? It’s the 4th month already

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Quenlena,

      Ask the local office to send a memorandum to the payment center to notify the Treasury Department so they can reverse the payment and reissue it to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Mary

    I am a law student who has a question regarding SSI. An individual was approved for SSI three years ago but because she never setup a representative payee she never received any SSI. The case dragged on and SSA eventually told her to reapply which she did and was approved. She now receives SSI but I am wondering if there is anyway to get back pay for her initial approval. Is there anyway to reopen the original case or get them to give her retroactive pay?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mary,

      If the person got a denial letter for failure to tell Social Security who could be her payee and she didn’t appeal, the first claim is closed. If the claim closed without notification, then there might be a slim change of getting it reopened based on the request she received to file a new claim being an error and that a payee application should have been all that was needed to start payment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Lashae

      Hello, didn’t know where to post my question… So if I am the payee for my child’s benefits and my husband is for our other child, are we allowed to work at all or can we work a specific amount of hours a week?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Lashae,

        Please clarify the following so I can respond:
        1. Are your children receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because they are disabled or are they receiving Social Security dependent benefits on a parent’s earnings record?
        2. If the latter, which parent is receiving Social Security? Is it a disability benefit?
        3. Do you all live together?

        Thank you,
        Kay

  • Rose

    My mom receive SSI and my dad is her representative payee. They are not legally married but are living together. Does his income/resource count toward figuring out how much she’s eligible to get?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rose,

      No, your father’s income and assets don’t affect your mother’s SSI because they are not married. However, if she does not pay her share of shelter and food expenses, she will be getting in-kind (non-cash) support and maintenance from him and that would affect the amount of her SSI payment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      eSincerely,
      Kay

  • Anita

    My questions are long and here is the background. …my husband had a massive stroke in 2014 in which while he is still mentally untouched physically he lost everything he was 56 at the time. Because of this I lost my job and we lost our home. My sister and I worked out the best thing for us was to transfer my husband to a facility in her state and move in with her which I did. I got his ssdi approved finally and he has medicare because of his age. I do not work for health reasons of my own and have started my own ssdi process. I am payee for his benefits I do get his all his personal needs, clothing personal care ect and snacks and soda for him to have at facility along with bigger things like his lift chair and dvr cd player (for books on cd ). I was told that because I did not work I was allowed to use part of his income for my use such as my rent food clothing insurance and so forth. Have I gotten the wrong information? If not then why does it count as my income for insurance and so forth? Thank you for you help.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Anita,

      You cannot use your husband’s benefits for your shelter and food costs. Part of his benefits probably need to be going to pay for part of his care at the facility. You might reasonably use some of the money for transportation to purchase the various items you mentioned and to visit him (provide him with the psychological comfort of companionship).

      I can’t answer your insurance question except to suggest that you request re-certification and request that your husband’s income not be counted because he is not in your household.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Anita

        So you are saying that when the social security office told me that I could have up to $2000 joint income a month for him to still receive benefits because of the healthy spouse protection was wrong. That because it is SSDI the rules are different? So confused. If we lived together it wouldn’t be an issue but there is no way I can take care of him bed bound. Guess I don’t need to have a place to live or eat.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Anita,

          I suggest that you get some help from a friend or relative to help you sort through your and your husband’s situation. If you are talking about Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the $2,000 figure does not refer to income; it refers to the amount of savings and other countable assets an SSI recipient can carry over from month to month. If the $2,000 you mention is related to some other benefit program or is a special rule related to your husband being in a care facility, I am not able to provide any guidance. (If you are age sixty-five or older or disabled yourself and do not have income, you can apply for SSI for yourself.

          Sincerely,
          Kat

  • Debbie

    My 20 year old Son just started receiving SSDI. He gives us money monthly for rent, food and bills. How does this effect our taxes next year? Do we have to add the money he gives us to our total income for the year? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Debbie,

      I am not a tax expert. I suggest that you ask a tax accountant or the IRS about your tax question.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jane

    I have been getting SSD since 2007. I don’t get SSI. I have 2 kids and they get money from SS because I’m on SSD. My SSD and their payments go into my checking account. Does their name have to be on my checking account? Is it okay for their child support and my VA disability to be also deposited into this checking account. Each child gets $337 for SSD. One child is 12 and is in private school tuition is $301/mo and lunch is $55/mo. Oldest child is 17 and food, medical, clothing, shelter, utilities, school fees plus his car insurance and car payment eat more than the $337. I keep receipts, statements, bills etc on everything. My 17 year old turns 18 in 3 months and will still be in high school full timeuntil June 2017. SS sent us the form and we have it all filled out. They ask if he has a bank account (been going to mine) if he says yes they want a voided check with his name only on it or bank statement. He can’t get the check in his name only until he is 18, but form has to be turned in before then. Confusing as I called SS and asked them and they told me he can get check mailed, open new account or just use current account but then SS told me his name should be on account. Everything I read on SS websites says parents & payee who get SSD w kids who are not getting SSI can have money go into parents account. Nothing states kids names have to be on account for the parents who just get SSD for themselves and their kids. What is correct?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jane,

      It is okay to have your minor children’s benefits go to your bank account if the children are living with you. I think that you were told your son should have a separate account because he is no longer a minor. I suggest that you give your son enough from his next benefit for him to open a checking or savings account in his name. Then submit documentation of the account as requested. Alternatively, they might issue a check, but it is unlikely that checks will be issued for nearly a year. If an initial check can be issued, he could use the first check to open the account for the receipt of future benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jane

        Jane Thank you. So it’s okay since I am a parent and both children live with me that their SSA checks go into my checking account with my SSD & VA income? Should I have set up a payee bank account originally reading my name next to his name and stating payee for him for his. Children have has always lived with me had his checks, his brothers checks my SSD check and VA disability checks just go into my checking that is in just my name and track how his money was speant? Will I just have to fill out another payee report soon or will I have to provide bank statements once he turns 18 or just provide check to him with his money that is left for him to deposit into his own account. TIA

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jane,

          In recent years procedures have changed and a minor child’s benefits are sometimes paid into the disabled worker’s bank account. When your son becomes of age, it would be best to set up a separate account with you as payee if it is determined he still needs a payee, you should not just turn all the money over to your son. If you continue as his payee, it will be your responsibility to manage his benefits by paying for his food and shelter and other basic expenses directly before giving him spending money or money for incidentals he can be trusted to purchase himself.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Ty

    My mother just told me she will only give me 120 a week. I told her that I have bills to pay but she keeps saying she won’t be inconvenienced so she will only do it this way! What should I do?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ty,

      Your payee is supposed to be paying your bills. Options could be to find another relative to be your payee or discuss your capability to handle your own benefits with your doctor. If your doctor agrees you are capable, including have the consitent judgement to take care of your basic needs of food and shelter and medical care before anything else, you can ask the doctor to complete a form SSAS-787 for you to submit with your application to be your own payee.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • renee

    I have a question i get ssi disability for my two kids they have a permanent disability. And I am there payee report I use it on food, clothing, my car insurance,gas, medical co pays for the kids,pretty much whatever they need. My friends also help me out and give me a break and baby sit but they don’t except money from me when I want to pay them for helping me and letting me get some rest. So I just end up getting them gifts to say thank you. I also had to use it on some of my bills like credit card payments cause i didn’t have the money. My bf use to pay them but broke up.I just received my payee report and I have to fill it out. I’m hoping I don’t get in trouble cause I used some of it for myself. Will I get penalize for paying my bills with it or will I have to pay it back whatever I used for myself and what I wrote like gas car insurance etc….

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Renee,

      If you use the car for your disabled children’s transportation using some of their money for gasoline and car insurance is appropriate. Similarly, the money can be used for rent, utilities, and household supplies that are shared by all. Paying credit card bills with it is only appropriate if the items charged were for them. I do not know whether you will be given a warning or be asked to pay back to your children any misused funds.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Shawn Patrlja

    My son receives SSD payments because I do as well. I am his father. My ex wife is his payee . She uses his money to provide for him but also uses the extra left over money to pay her car payment and insurance bill also for her cell phone.. I believe that this is wrong and she is able to work but does not because she used his money to pay for her bills and live off of. Instead of saving the extra money for his future. Is there a way that I can have her removed as his payee ?? I could be his payee if need be. As we have equal custody rights both legal and custodial.. Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shawn,

      You can file an application to be our son’s payee and discuss your issues with how the funds are being used. Note that it is appropriate to use the child’s benefits for housing, food, transportation costs, and other basics. If you are made payee, you should give your ex-wife food and utility money for the time your son is with her and also money for the things she usually buys for him such as clothes, school supplies, recreational items, medical co-pays for appointments she takes him to. Transfer the money by check and keep a log of the purposes.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Shawn Patrlja

        Thank you Kay. I will gladly make sure that she has enough to pay for his needs but just his … My hope is that it will spark her to seek employment to pay for her own needs. Also that he may have some even if it’s not much of savings to help him when he turns 18 and no longer is eligible for benefits..

  • Elizaberh

    My son’s Dad is disabled, so he gets SSI income. I just found out that he has been receiving over $1000 per month for over 4 years. We share equal 50/50 custody of our son. At the time he started receiving the money he told them he had custody. I went to SS dept. with our son, they did not know he was living with me half the time and we were able to change to Representative Payee to me. His dad has used thiamine to buy cars and other personal things, he says the money was his. My son never knew anything about this money. He received a $15K “back pay” in January 2012. We don’t know where that money went. Can his Dad get the Payee switched back to him, how easy is that to do after being assigned to me? My son (16yrs. old) has currently been residing with me for the last month. We’re looking at major changes in our parenting plan. How will that affect my sons SSI benefits?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Elizabeth,

      Your child’s Social Security benefit amount will not be affected by the parenting plan, just who is payee. I suggest that you file a statement with Social Security asking that the child’s father not be made payee again because the 15,000 back pay is unaccounted for. Note that if your son spends time with his father, you should give his father money for you son’s food. If your son goes back to living with his father half time, you should also turn over money for utilities. Be sure to write a check so you have proof of having provided for your son.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • I am 16 year old and i draw disability and i have heard from some one that I can get a card sent to me in the mail and then I can go to the social secearty office and they can have the money out on that card aand I will have a pen number an my parents do not have to know about it bc I have been needing to go to the doctor for 4 years now to have my gaw bladder removed an they will not take me an they spend it on my cusions that live with me for video games an I never see the money is this true that I could do that?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brittany,

      Typically a minor (someone under age eighteen) cannot receive benefits directly. You can talk with another relative to see if someone will serve as your payee to receive the benefits. If you do this and continue to live with your current payee, you would need to give them money for your shelter and food expenses.

      The medical care may be a different issue. If you are receiving SSI because you are disabled, in most states you would also be eligible for Medicaid health insurance and have a Medicaid card, which would pay for all the cost of the needed surgery. If you cannot get help from a relative, try going to your state or county social services office and ask if they can investigate your possible Medicaid eligibility and/or help you get your parents or guardians to approve the surgery.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • barry

    if i get married will my adult daughter lose her ssi

    • barry

      i am her payee

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Barry,

        Please see my response to your previous question. The response still applies even though you are your daughter’s payee.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Barry,

      Your and your wife’s income and assets will not affect your adult daughter’s SSI payment amount.

      Sincerely,
      kay

  • Yesenia Cedeno

    I was living with my maternal aunt for a little over 2 years and was getting SSI checks and she never told me that I was receiving these checks and never really wanted to ever spend money on me I noticed that I kept getting things in the mail with my name on it and one day I opened one and saw I was receiving SSI checks I assumed that she was saving the money for college I now no longer live with her and I have not touch or seen any of that money, what should I do?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Yesenia,

      Go to your local Social Security office to report your move. If you are age eighteen or over, you can apply to be your own payee. If you are a minor, take responsible adult with you to apply to be your payee.

      With regard to the money paid to your aunt, while you lived with her, most or all of it may have been used for food, clothing, house utilities or even rent to provide you with shelter, plus your personal care items and any medical bills. After you moved, she should have been paying for your rent and other expenses where you now live.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Rose

    My dad is a representative payee for my mom and they have a joint bank account. My dad also works and deposit his work check in the same account. Does his work check affect her benefits and if he deposit other income like a tax refund?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rose,

      If your mother is getting Social Security Disability, your father’s income and their assets are not considered in determining her mother’s eligibility or payment amount. If she is getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and your parents live together, your father’s income is considered in determining your mother’s benefit amount and has to be reported regardless of whether or where it is deposited. If she is getting SSI and they are not living together, their money should not be comingled.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Pa

      Daughter just got approved for ssi. Was told to go to bank and set up representative payee account at bank. Will i have to give SSA the account info or will I get a check. My claim reps was very vague.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Pa,

        The government requires you to have either a direct deposit payment or a special debit card to receive the payments. They will pay one a month or two as a check. Once you get the bank account, give the account information to Social Security so they can put it in your daughter’s computer record to have payment directed to the account.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • krystal smith

    Can i switch payees from my husband to my mother and since my husband work would he have to put his wages in even know my mother is my payee?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Krystal,

      You can request to have your payee changed to your mother. I do not understand your second question. Could you rephrase it for me?

      Thank you,
      Kay

  • Heather

    My sister receives ss disability. She has a hard time managing her money. She sets up auto draft for her bills, which is good, but then she spends the rest pretty much immediately on things that are not of need. This leaves her no money for two weeks or so for food etc until the next check comes. She is also very kind hearted and will spend her money on others and has been taken advantage of in the past.
    She wants me to help manage her money for her. She has made me her durable financial Power of Attorney. Yet I learned today that Social Security does not recognize POA and that I would have to be authorized as her representative payee.

    I have 2 questions. Is this something that came into effect that past 10 years or so? Because 20 years ago I was poa for both my mother and father. I did their bills off their social security income. I had a debit card and my father had one. I would pay his bills on the 3rd and he would use his card to get his food, gas, medicines etc. He only needed help with paying the bills. I never had to be authorized to be a representative payee. I was legally allowed by the bank to sign his ss checks with my poa on file.

    This is the same set up my sister and I wanted to do.
    My second question; She lives in Texas and I live in NC. Her check is direct deposited into a Texas bank that is not nation wide. She wants me to open an account for her here where I live and have her ss direct deposit come to the NC nationwide bank. I’m assuming that I will not be able to do this with my POA
    since I’m not her representative payee. Is this correct?
    I really wasn’t looking to manage every cent of her funds.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Heather,

      The law regarding representative payees has been the same for at least forty years. You had an informal agreement with your parents to help with paying the bills. It sounds as if your parents were mentally capable, therefore, not needing a representative payee. The situation with your sister sounds a bit different in that you describe her as having judgement problems and may need a representative payee to manage her money to see that she has food throughout the month. When capability enters into it, then a formal representative payee application is needed. That said, you might not be approved as payee because of the geographic distance between you. How will you see she has food when without taking her shopping before giving her spending money? If you proceed with your sister’s plan to have you manage the funds informally as far a Social Security is concerned but formally with the bank in North Carolina, I think she will have to open the account herself and appoint you as her POA for banking.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Hi am Jenny I was wanting to know if my payee is putting money in my account to help me move do I have to pay him back if he put it in my ssi account his own money his he allowed to do that

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Jenny,

        If you do not have a bonafide (real) loan agreement that requires you to repay at a certain amount per month, your payee giving you money to move will either reduce your SSI or make you ineligible for SSI for at least one month.

        Kay

  • Me

    I just found out I have been approved but also that I will be getting a call or letter to establish a representative payee. It is definitely needed, I understand that as I know my history. This is where the tricky part comes in. I have 3 friends/family members I could suggest that I know the SSA will go along with. 2 of them I am not comfortable with for many reasons.

    The one I want to pick would be great, but they do not want to keep up tracking how all the money will be spent. Is it illegal for this person to just write me a check after they receive the funds? I understand that tracking needs to be sent to the SSA, but it would be easy to just tell them my monthly expenses and needs as they are almost always the same, plus whatever left for saving or entertainment? How much detail do they actually need? If it is illegal we probably want no part in it, we were just wondering if there was a way to pull this off so to speak. Is it something they would heavily look into? I mean would they track my friends/family members bank account and then track mine to see if the full amount was in my 2 days later? I know, sounds like I am trying to get one over on them, but just checking if this would be legal to do if we had a good paper trailer of where my money was being spent.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Me,

      It is not legal for a representative payee to just turn money over to a person who needs a payee. The benefits will go into a bank account titled “your name by your payee’s name, representative payee.” This means that the money belongs to you but you cannot access the account. Social Security will not look into the payee’s finances.

      The payee should pay for your rent, utilities, phone, and medical co-pays directly to the providers with checks written off the account. This has the benefit of automatically creating a record of where most of the money is spent. If you use the bus, she should also purchase your bus tickets or bus pass directly also. Any other occasional large expenses such as household furnishings, clothing, or car repairs would best be paid directly. Otherwise, she can divide the remainder of the money into four weeks and give it to you weekly for food and miscellaneous needs and desires. If she gives you cash, you should give her a written receipt. An easy way to do this is to buy a receipt book to record the date, the amount and your signature. Once she gives you the money and you sign for it, you do not have to give her receipts for how you spend it.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • james

    quick question…

    I have a payee now, my father he does fine no problem with it; however, I feel that I do not need to be on SS disability anymore. Once I start working and I’m over the trial period, then what happens to my benefits. I have a lot of back pay saved up.. but if I am no longer eligible to receive benefits can I take that money and put it in my own account, or does the payee still dish out how they feel necessary?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear James,

      When you have completed the nine-month Trial Work Period (TWP), the next thirty-six months following the TWP are an Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE) during which you are eligible for benefits only in the months you have gross earnings below the Substantial Gainful Activity level, which in 2016 is $1,130 gross. After the thirty-six months, benefits are terminated and your claim is closed the first month you perform SGA. Medicare will continue for another fifty-four months. You can read about these work incentives in the Red Book available online at http://www.ssa.gov.

      If you believe you have recovered medically, you can report the recovery and have the benefits stopped. If not,letting the EPE run out can be advantageous because it gives you the right for expedited reinstatement if you become disabled again due to the same causes.

      Possibly the best way to deal with the conserved funds is to apply to be your own payee while benefits are still payable. You can ask your physician to complete a form SSA-787 in support of your capacity to handle funds. Then you can ask to have the conserved funds returned to SSA and reissued to you. If your father is in agreement with the change of payee, he can make a statement to that effect. I suggest that you consult with Social Security regarding his resposnibilities and your rights should he continue to be your payee up until your claim closes.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Asheley L

    I’m 18 years old and my mother put me on SSI since i was 14. My mother never gave me the money and uses it for her self. when i ask her about seeing my paperwork, she yells at me and wont let me see it at all. she keeps everything to her self, she wont even tell me how much i get. also, she wont even make me a bank account and put money in it for the future. i turned 18 this January and the SSI check and all the paperwork is in my name and she wont let me have any of it. but i just found out that the money is not coming anymore on may 1st on 2016. it tells me i can keep it if i go in and do more paperwork. but i dont want my mother to get the checks anymore. i dont know how to make that happen. I’m 18 years old and having a baby and i want to renew my SSI and get the money sent into my own bank account so my mother cant touch the money. i dont know how to go about this, can i please have help.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Asheley,

      Your mother may have been using your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits to pay for your food, housing, clothing, personal hygiene items, etc.

      Now that you are eighteen, you have to be reevaluated to determine whether you are still disabled by adult disability criteria. I suggest that you go to your local Social Security office with your Social Security number and tell them you have been on SSI with your mother as your payee, you have turned eighteen, and you want to apply to be your own payee and do whatever is necessary to continue to be eligible. Take your doctors names and contact information with you and be prepared to explain why you are still disabled and cannot work.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Darren

    Kay,
    I have been fighting for 4 years for SS Disability and finally was approved.
    My daughter who is 12 will also be entitled to payments and back pay. Unfortunately I am divorced and my ex-wife refuses to put the 50k in back pay my daughter is entitled to away for college. My daughter is well taken care of and in need of nothing because I love her and always have taken care of her needs. The problem is my ex refuses to work and lives off me and our daughters child support and now will take advantage of my daughters back pay and monthly payments of 1200.00 per month. I have spent thousands in court trying to get my ex to get a job and help financially raise our daughter. Its a losing battle. Now I am concerned she will blow all the money that is entitled to our daughter. Can she pay off her credit card, car payments, attorney fees, etc with my daughters money? The system does nothing to protect my daughter and I am afraid their will be nothing left for her because her mother has never put money away, is in debt and refuses to work.

    Also how long from my approval date in November does my ex-wife have to go for the SS Disability interview to start the payouts for our daughter before they will deny the benefits for her?

    I ask because we have been fighting in court and even though I don’t want my ex-wife having control, I obviously can do nothing about it and don’t want my daughter to lose the benefit I fought so hard to get.

    As always
    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Darren,

      Social Security makes its own payee decisions and does not go by court divorce decrees. You can apply you be your daughter’s payee. If you do, explain the situation and the reason that you want to be payee. Tell Social Security your plan for taking care of your daughter while she does not live with you. For example, you can give your daughter’s mother a set amount each month for your daughter’s food and housing and routine personal care. You can give your daughter her allowance directly and pay her medical and dental co-pays directly to the providers and take her shopping for clothing or other special purchases. You may be able to pay school activity fees directly to the school.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • David

    I tried helping a kid that was on the streets and found out real quick what kind of person he is and I don’t want to be his payee anymore plz tell me what can I do.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear David,

      You can go to your local Social Security office and resign as payee effective with the next payment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Cindy

    As a payee do I have to keep receipts for ALL the beneficiary’s personal expenses? I give her $50 a week to spend after I pay her rent of $320, electric of aprox $60, and food of around $100 a month to go with her food stamps. I mail her a check weekly for $75. She mails me the receipt for the food. This gives me a total of $620 including her personal expenses. Savings amount to around $300 for medical bills, clothing, etc. Sometimes it’s hard to get receipts for the personal expenses.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cindy,

      If you are satisfied that the beneficiary is using the $50 weekly for things that benefit her such as grooming and household supplies, haircuts, transportation and entertainment and is not using it for alcohol or drugs, then you can probably just use your check as proof of taking care of her needs. You talk about mailing as your means of communication, but it would be best if you were to check on her personally at least once a month to see how she and her home appear to be doing. For example, do you need to hire someone to clean for her and, thus reduce the amount for her miscellaneous small expense?

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Cindy

        Thank you Kay. I do see her about three times a month and am very proud of her. She has been sober almost two years and is doing well.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Cindy.

  • Mike Barny

    My payee receives $721 dollars a month for my disability and the be given $300 a month and the payee keeps the money for themselves, the payee buys stuff for other people that the payee knows and use the money to pay for their bills and for they expenses, and plus travel expenses for them to got to Hawaii with the money that was supposed to be given to me for my needs, do you think it is right for the payee to do that, or it is legal to do that?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mike,

      What you describe is not legal. I suggest that you take a reliable relative or friend to your local Social Security office and as to have the payee changed for the reasons you have described to me. If you do not have a relative or friend who can be your payee, you may be able to arrange a public payee through a state or county social services office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Brittany Favors

    Im trying to get my son a check from his father’s disability check. Social security told me to bring my son’s birth certificate but his father didnt sign it & he has my last night. My question is, how will they have “proof” my son is his fathers?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brittany,

      If your son’s father’s name is not on the birth certificate, you could ask the father to sign an affidavit that the child is his or you could request that he undergo a paternity test if needed.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Rachel m

    My mother is on disability benefits for a mental illness. She needs medication to control her personality disorder and called up my older sister asking her to pay for her medications this month because she ran out of money. I personally don’t want to have to regulate or control my mothers money but I feel that she needs someone that is more responsible manage her money so she can stay on her medications. I’m also assuming that when she applied for disability benefits that the doctor had decided that she was “able enough” to manage her money. Is there a way for me to talk to a Social Security representative or possibly the doctor?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rachel,

      You can talk to Social Security about the situation; but without a physician’s statement of incapability as related to money handling, Social Security may not be able to do anything. Perhaps the family can pay for the medication directly to the pharmacy this time while telling her that you will not do it again because she needs to manage her funds to pay for housing, food, and medication first. You might also help her apply for SNAP (formerly called food stamps). She may qualify making for some assistance making it easier for her to make ends meet.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • april

    Hello I have been receiving ssdi since I was a teenager. I am going to be 26 soon. my mom is my payee. I have type 1, diabetes and kidney failure. She tells me one thing then I hear something different. I have started catering and with her being my payee she says if I ever decide to start a life with this guy that I will lose my ssd. He works full time in a shop. So would I lose my ssd if I ever was to decide to move out on my own ?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear April,

      If you are mentally capable of handling your own funds, you can apply to receive your benefits directly. If your doctor agrees that you are capable, he or she can complete a form SSA-787, which is available on line. You can take that form to Social Security to file your payee application.

      If you are receiving Social Security dependent benefits as disabled adult child on a parent’s earnings record, your benefits will stop if you get married. If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, your benefits could change in a new living arrangement; however if you move in with a boyfriend and pay your share of shelter expenses and food, you could be eligible for the maximum SSI. If you marry, your spouse’s income will be considered in determining your benefit amount.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Amber

    I recently was approved for disability and found out I need a payee. My grandfather wants to do it but he feels he is entitled to half my back pay since he’s helped me here and there while I’ve been waiting. He doesn’t have an amount I owe that I know of he just wants half. Can he do this? Also do I have to keep receipts for all I spend money on?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Amber,

      Your grandfather and you need to discuss his responsibilities as payee with Social Security. It is a slippery area for a representative payee to repay himself for assistance provided in the past, especially if he has no records of the amount to be reimbursed.

      He also is supposed to be paying your rent and utilities directly, medical co-pays, bus tickets, food (if not purchased with food stamps) etc. to the providers, giving you as little money as possible because it has been judged that your disability impairs your ability to consistently make good financial decisions in your own behalf. Accordingly, the cash that he gives you for incidentals and entertainment should be limited. You do not need to keep receipts for what you spend, but you should give your grandfather a receipt for the cash he gives you because he has to keep records and receipts to report annually, showing how he used the money for you.

      If you think you have the capacity to be your own payee and pay for shelter, food, and other necessities before anything else, you might discuss the matter with your physician. If the doctor agrees you are capable, you can have him or her complete a form SSA-787 and you can apply to be your own payee.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jackie

    My daughter received benefits off my husband! My husband is her legal guardian and her checks came in his name now she just turned 18 she dropped out of school and is now on drugs and don’t have any ID! A check came in the mail in her name for a little back pay from the money she was getting off him before she turned 18 so can he cash the check for her and take her to get the things she need?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jackie,

      Your daughter can endorse the check to her father and then he can deposit it to his bank account and later withdraw the money. He cannot directly cash a check in her name.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Thomas

        Why can’t she haven’t deposit in her name?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Thomas,

          I do not know who you are referring to or the circumstances. I looked for a prior post and response reading your current question and do not find any. If you would like to give me more information, I may be able to comment.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Shannon

    I have a 23 year old daughter that has mental/emotional disabilities. I have been her sole support & care taker for her life. She was just approved for SSI after a 4 year battle. I have been paying for all her care as she lives with me. When she gets her back pay and I have paid all her bills and taken care of all her needs, can I get refunded for any portion of the care I paid for since she became an adult? In other words, would it be illegal to pay myself back for the months I covered all the expenses on her behalf?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shannon,

      You can check with Social Security, but I do not believe that you can repay yourself; however, you can have her start paying her share of all expenses including her share of housing and utility costs, food, family vacations, etc. on an ongoing including using her back pay for things that her monthly benefits might not cover. Her share is the total cost divided by the number of people in the household (or in the case of a vacation the number of people on the vacation.) Her funds can also be reasonably used for a portion of automobile maintenance and gasoline if you provide her with transportation in proportion to the percentage of the time the car is used for her specific needs. It is also good to save part of the money (within the $2,000 limits) for unexpected future needs. Note that SSI back pay only starts to count as an asset nine months after it is received.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ting

    Hi, my uncle had an accident and so his daughter applied for ss disability for him and was his rep. payee. however, she passed away and now his payments have been frozen. if his medical conditions have improved (enough to have capacity to manage funds and make sound decisions) and he can apply for retirement benefits soon, would he still need a rep payee?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ting,

      If your uncle is mentally capable, he can have his doctor complete a form SSA-787, which can be obtained online, and he can take it to Social Security and apply to be his own payee. If the doctor does not think he is capable, some other relative can apply to be his payee.

      Just a side note: your uncle does not have to apply for retirement benefits. If he is now getting Social Security Disability (SSDI), he will automatically be converted to retirement when he reaches full retirement age.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • DONNA

    HI, I JUST BECAME MY DISABLED BROTHER’S PAYEE BECAUSE MY MOTHER IS 90 YEARS OLD AND NO LONGER ABLE TO HANDLE IT. MY QUESTION IS, SOCIAL SECURITY SENT HER A LETTER AND TOLD HER TO SEND REMAINING MONEY FROM MY BROTHER’S CHECKING ACCOUNT BACK TO THEM. WILL THEY SEND HIM THIS MONEY BACK? THANKS FOR ANY INFO YOU CAN GIVE ME.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Donna,

      Yes, Social Security will forward those funds to you for your brother.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • DeeDee Jones

    My daughter just got a large statement and she want to put it in to my bank account do you know how much money can I keep in my bank account if I’m receive social Security

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear DeeDee,

      If you are receiving Social Security and not Supplemental Security Income, you can put any amount of money in your bank accounts.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Mika

    Hi,

    My stepdaughter is 21 years old and has severe learning disabilities. She lives with her mother and my husband still continues to take care of her financial needs. The mother continually tells my husband that the child keeps getting turned down for SSD benefits. We find this hard to believe because she is clearly unemployable. Is there any way that my husband can find out if his daughter is truly not receiving benefits because if she is not we would like to take the next step to helping her even if that includes hiring an attorney. I am getting the sneaking suspicion that the mother is not being completely honest.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mika,

      If your stepdaughter has not worked, she would not be eligible for SSD benefits (Social Security Disability), which is based on a worker’s earnings records. An indirect way of finding out she is eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits would be for your husband to go to Social Security with his daughter’s Social Security number and apply for SSI for her. If she has a claim pending in appeal, he will likely be told so.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • stacey

    hi i am a rep payee for my half sister our step mother was but turned it over to me bc she spent it on other things sides the child now our father is a felon and csnt be her payee they are all living with me okay they keep threating me to move and the child aka step sister go with them and take her check from me can they do that if i continúe to pay her way ?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stacey,

      I believe you have two issues. The first may be your rights with regard to the welfare of your half sister. For guidance on that, I suggest that you try to discuss the matter with a family law attorney. The second is the payment of the Social Security benefit. If your stepmother and father do move and take your half-sister with them and your stepmother applies to be payee, Social Security may make her payee because the child is no longer in your care. If they are close by, you might still be able to serve as her payee and pay for her personal things and give money to her parents for her food and housing. Either way, be sure to keep receipts to prove how you are spending the money. If you give money to the parents for food and housing, get a written receipt for the amount that shows the date, the amount, and the intended use.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Anna andrade

        so my dad is retired and separated with my mom, my mom gets social security benefits with my name and my brothers name on it. She’s never really home so i am basically the adult in my house , is there anyway i could cash the social security check with my name on it?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Anna,

          You cannot cash the payment because the check is issued to your mother; doing so would be check fraud. It does sound as if you need to talk to the Social Security Administration about the situation of your mother not being available to cash the checks and take care of your and your brother’s needs. Is there another adult whom you trust who could become your payee–perhaps an aunt or uncle or your father?

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • anita

    I am the payee for my son. Can my other son’s name be added to the bank account?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Anita,

      No, you alone are responsible for your son’s benefits. If you become unable to serve as payee in the future, your other son can apply to be payee at that time. Also note that your son’s Social Security or SSI benefits must be kept separate from funds belonging to other people.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tiana

    If I am someone’s payee, do I claim them as a dependant and their SS income on my own taxes? Or do they file separately?

    Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tiana,

      Please address your tax question to a tax accountant or the IRS. I can only give you the general information that the Social Security benefits your receive as a payee do not belong to you. They are the income of the person who is eligible for the benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ash

    My sisters children receive survivor benefits. She is looking at prison time. The children would move in with me, their aunt. I am in another state. How would I go about becoming their payee? And with no other means of support coming since she’d be in jail, what percentage do I claim for living expenses. I would deduct basic needs and activities but could I take some of that money for the difference in my utilities housing changes and or moving costs? Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ash,

      You can apply to be the children’s payee at your closest Social Security office. You can use the children’s benefits for their moving cost, utilities, (rent increase if you need a larger dwelling to accommodate them), food, medical and dental care as well as the other things you mentioned. If there is any left, it should be kept for the future needs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ben

    A mentally disabled friend receives both SSDI and SSI. He is now homeless due to fiscal irresponsibility. Discussions have uncovered his inability to plan and thereby secure housing.

    Is there a mechanism for me to suggest the Social Security Administration assign him a payee?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ben,

      You can go to a Social Security office, explain the situation, and apply to be your friend’s payee; however, to be successful you will probably need something from a physician. If he has a doctor or can be taken for an evaluation, you can ask the physician to complete an SSA-787 form regarding capability. You can get the form online.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Angelica Martinez

    Hello quick question. Myself and my boyfriend have been together for 6 years but living separetly. We have a 1 1/2 year old daughter who recieves ssi since october of 2015 for several health conditions. I am the representative payee for her. She stays with myself and her father an equal amount of days and nights and her fathers mom takes care of her when we work and go to school. As far as taxes would her father be able to claim her as a dependent on his taxes if I am her representative payee? I have no problem with him claiming her because we agreed we would take turns doing so, but im not sure if that changes due to her being on ssi now. Also when I file taxes, would i need to file as a representative payee under social security benefits tax form?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Angelica,

      I suggest that you and your boyfriend discuss your tax questions with a tax accountant or the IRS. The only guidance I can give is to remind you that the money you receive for your daughter is her income, not yours.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Hi my name is Jasmyn and idk what to do about my problem I’m 17 I don’t live with my mom I haven’t for 2 or 3 years now and she gets a check every month suppose to take care of me my big brother and my little brother so far as my mom says my big brother isn’t on it any more, my mom has been getting these checks signs I was 5 signs my dad died but she hasn’t been taking care of me for awhile she was using the money for drugs and I had to figure out ways to survive

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jasmyn,

          I suggest that you go to your local Social Security office with a reliable adult who can serve as your representative payee so that you can get the benefit of the portion of the survivor benefits that is intended for you. If your younger brother is not living with your mother that should be reported also.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • My little brother is living with my mom and could my boyfriend be my payee he is the one who’s been taking care of me

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Jasmyn,

              If your boyfriend is over age eighteen, he can apply to be your payee. With regard to your brother, you can express your concerns about the use of his money and ask Social Security to request an accounting. (If the benefit is not high and he is being provided food, housing, and clothing, his benefits may not be being misused.)

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Okay thank you for all your help this information sure has helped me I really didn’t know much about it but I did know my mom has been abusing her use of being a payee and a parent

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Jasmyn.

      • Latoya

        Hi, I am my daughter’s payee and I have created her dedicated account as her case worker said. Last week her back pay was ready to be deposited but I had to create another account. About how long would it take for her to receive her back pay now?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Latoya,

          I can’t say for sure how long it will take to complete processing of her claim. It is being actively worked on, so I would say a couple weeks.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Pamela Cleghorne

    My mom receives a ssi check and I was gonna claim her on my taxes as my child care provider. Will this hurt her check?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Pamela,

      If you pay your mother for caring for your child, she is responsible for reporting her work income to Social Security so it can be considered in determining her SSI payment amount.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Raquel

    Hi I’m a payer for my mother who has Alzheimer’s, this is the first year she has been receiving disability benefits. Do I claim her and her benefits or do I file a seperate return?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Raquel,

      I suggest that you talk with a tax accountant or the IRS about your tax question. One point, though, that might be helpful in thinking about this is that the money you are receiving for your mother is not your income–it is your mother’s income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • leah

    my second question is when my son got approved last january 2015 i apply ssi for him last november 2014 they deposit 1,200 plus his $416.00 monthly ssi., do u think its my sons dedicated money? coz i search it up they said that dedicated money is like 6 times of the monthly ssi is it true?
    thank you so much Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Leah,

      Based on the dates and amounts you are describing, your son’s back pay did not have to go to a dedicated account with restricted-use rules because the amount due was less than six months of benefits. He would have been eligible for back benefits from December 2014 through the month before his regular monthly benefits started, likely less than six months.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Brandi

    If I get married or have someone living with me does my payee (for ssdi)have the right to only pay half my rent or do they still have to pay the full amount?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brandi,

      If you live with someone to whom you are not married, your payee should pay only half of the rent and utilities and half of the food if you share food. If you are married, then the situation is not as clear and I would recommend that the three of you–you, your spouse, and your payee sit down and work out a household spending plan and determine how much you are paying and how much your spouse will pay based on the family unit’s income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lj

    my second question is when my son got approved last january 2015 i apply ssi for him last november 2014 they deposit 1,200 plus his $416.00 monthly ssi., do u think its my sons dedicated money? coz i search it up they said that dedicated money is like 6 times of the monthly ssi is it true?
    thank you so much Kay
    – See more at: http://www.disabilityadvisor.com/social-security-disability-representative/#comment-69266

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear LJ,

      Please see my reply of earlier today to your first posting.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jill

    I am the rep payee for my husband and I am completing the Representative Payee Report for the first time. Do I report only half of our house payment or I am able to report the entire house payment as paid with his funds? The same question regarding the property tax and utilities. Our house has needed repairs – reportable? I pay for his medical insurance through my employer. Can I report the amount which is an automatic deduction from my paycheck? It would be the difference between what it would cost me if I was the only insured vs the cost for myself and spouse. We paid the IRS $2000. for income tax. Does half of that get attributed to his payments? Thanks.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jill,

      Report exactly what you did with your husband’s benefits. If you paid the full mortgage with it, show that. If his benefits went for part of the house repairs, list it. Whatever amount of his benefits that goes for food, taxes, utilities, the same. If some basic need of his was not met with his funds (food, clothing, medical co-pays) and you paid those, I would recommend adding that in the remarks section.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • L

    Hi im the payee of my son, i receive letter that i need to complete the form its like a review or something and they asking me if im the one who deciding how to spend the money i answer Yes. coz my son is autism and only buy his needs and some of the money i help to pay the rent.. and the second question is how much that i saved for my son? i said $0 which is true. i never save money because my son eats a lot i ending up spending the money for his food and clothes and diaperor he wants something like activity toys o shoes. do u think they want me save or its okay to answer $0 because that is the truth.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear L.,

      Always report the truth. It is okay not to save benefits if all are needed for your child’s care including housing, food, and purchases for his individual use.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Lj

        my second question is when my son got approved last january 2015 i apply ssi for him last november 2014 they deposit 1,200 plus his $416.00 monthly ssi., do u think its my sons dedicated money? coz i search it up they said that dedicated money is like 6 times of the monthly ssi is it true?

        thank you so much Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear LJ,

          Based on the information you gave me, the $1,200 would seem to be all the back pay your son is due. Because he was not due six months back benefits, the back benefits did not have to go into a dedicated account with restricted use. If the $1,200 was deposited to the same account or same DirectExpress card as the monthly benefits, then no dedicated account is needed and you can use the money for any need your son has now or in the future.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • T

    Hi,

    I was approved for SSDI back in 2005 when we had two sons. We had a shock pregnancy in 2010 and at the time I had the dependent benefits changed from being split between the two boys to being paid to all three boys. I received an Advance Notice of Termination as our eldest son will turn 18 next month. He is a senior in Highschool so I can file the paperwork to extend his payments until he graduates. But my question is can I change the payments to be split between the 2 youngest boys or is this not allowed since our eldest son is still a dependent and when is turns 18/graduates the termination will kick in?
    Thank you in advance for you’re help!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear T.,

      Your oldest child is entitled to receive benefits through the month before he graduates–last payment will be received in the month of graduation. At that time, the total amount now being paid to the three children will be paid to the two remaining under age.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • T

        Hi Kay,

        I have the paperwork for my eldest sons Highschool to complete and we have completed our part to prove he is a full time senior and graduating in June. Do I need to file, call or do anything to ensure the payments go to his little brothers?
        Thank you for all you do. I couldn’t find the answer anywhere including my own SSDI attorney.
        T

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear T.,

          Your younger child’s benefits should increase automatically the month after your older child’s last benefit is paid and within a couple of weeks of the increase you should also get letters of termination for one child and increase for the other. If it does not, contact your local Social Security office.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Kia

    What happens if you turn in your annual report late?(this my first year being a payee for my mom)

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kia,

      Better late than never. Get it in as soon as you can so that you do not receive follow-up requests.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kathy jombori

    I have a questens if I don’t want to be the payee any longer to my boyfriend and he wants the card to givin to him even tho the card is on my name. Do I can get in trouble if I give him the card? Im tired of hiring I need my card ..I need my money..What is the right think to do ?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kathy,

      You need to resign your appointment as payee at a local Social Security office and your boyfriend needs to apply to be his own payee or find someone else to serve. You should not turn the debit card that is in your name over to him. The card will be cancelled when you resign and a new card will be issued to your boyfriend or his new payee.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lisa Marie

    I have a question. Do i have to accept the payee or can i refuse a payee?cuz i do not need one.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lisa,

      You can appeal the fact that you need a payee. To do so, you have to file a formal appeal and submit evidence that you are capable of directing the use of your own funds and consistently make judgements to pay your shelter, food, and other necessities before making other purchases. If your physician agrees you are capable, you could have him or her complete a form SSA-787, which is available online. If you are receiving disability due to a mental or cognitive illness, you may want to have the doctor also indicate you are still disabled, if you are.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Greer C Viale

        Good morning- I am somewhat perplexed regarding SSDI’s determination that a Rep Payee be assigned for me. (PTSD, GAD and depression)
        It is acceptable, to me however.
        After the funds are deposited in the appropriately titled account and necessities are paid for,—oh- my spouse is the RP–may he transfer the overage to our joint Savings account? We hope to save for a down payment on a home….or for in-home end -of-life care.
        Both of our names are currently on this Savings Only account.
        Thank you.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Greer,

          Your husband should set up a separate savings account with the title “your name by his name, representative payee” and deposit your benefits toward your shared savings goals to that account and keep his savings separate from yours.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Greer C Viale

            Thank you!
            Gee—now– may that separate savings account, ‘mine’, be the account that ‘we’ choose to have the monthly benefit deposited? (into)
            Thank you again and I promise not to prolong this thread

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Greer,

              As indicated before, all your benefits should go into any account that belongs to you and none of your funds should go into another person’s account or anyone else’s go into your account.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Billy

    Hello & thank yuki so much for this site. I feel horrible for asking this, but I do not feel that I am getting a straight answer from my wife of almost 8 years. She is a (VERY INTELLIGENT) RN, & knows every symptom for every Illness. We have 2 beautiful & since we’ve been married, I have become disabled myself, but I still bust my tail keeping the house cleaned, laundry done, food cooked, everybody bathed (which she did not do much of that at all, even before being Found disabled).
    Since her disabilitating injury, I have not been “allowed” to go to the first Dr appt. It has been her mother taking her each time. My wife is 29 years old & when I married her, I didn’t say no to the part of in sickness & in health.

    Her mother is in charge of her finances, which include money for our 2 children. I am the one taking care of my family everyday, not her mother. I just don’t see how it’s fair too me to be left out in the cold so to speak. We live no where near my family, it’s all her family in the house that her daddy owns. I feel as if at anytime, I am going too be kicked out of my own family & will not be able to see my kids. I’ve stayed at home with them since they’ve come home from the Hospital since day 1.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Billy,

      You mentioned a question, but I do not find a question in your post. If you have one, post it and I will try to answer.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Billy

        WOW, you sure are right & I’m sorry for that rant instead of asking a question. My mind is racing a millions miles a hour with the whirlwind going on in my life.
        I was told that my wife would need a Payee & her mother was picked as that person instead of me, her, her husband of 8 years. Why didn’t I get to be my wife’s Payee? Also, the kids have been getting a monthly allowance that was being deposited into my account, but I was told that my wife would get more money from her disability, but when we looked it up, my checks are actually more then her’s (adding in the kids portions). So, I was wondering, if the kids are supposed to be under the parent that makes more money from Disability, why did it change from me to my wife? All the money has gone to bills, clothing, food, etc for the kids. I just have a feeling that my wife & mother in law have planned for this to happen. (I hope & pray that I’m wrong, but the former Marine inside of me says get your guard up soldier, things are about to get ugly). Is there anything I can do? I was told by the National & Local Social Security office, that I cannot get any info pertaining to my own children.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Billy,

          When both parents are receiving Social Security, there is the potential for the children to be receiving benefits on both parents’ earnings records under a combined family maximum. Usually the benefits are paid under the number of the higher earner. That might account for the switch in payees. If the children are being paid from both records, you should have a right to know how much is being paid.

          In any event, you could file to be payee for them listing your reason for why it would be better for you to be payee. If you are selected as payee, the control of their benefits would be switched back to you. With regard to your wife’s benefits, she may have requested her mother as payee.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Marilyn

    Hi Kay,
    My husband has guardianship and rep payee over a family member who has TBI. The family member continues to lease electronics, furniture, clothes etc. through companies that advertise “no credit checks” and need only a signature. Do you know if there is any law that states the companies can’t allow this because she has a guardian and rep payee. She cannot afford to do this and uses her weekly monies that are allotted for food and such.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Marilyn,

      To my knowledge there is no law that can help. The lessor probably doesn’t know that your family member is not capable of making decisions. I don’t know whether it would do any good, but your husband might try talking with her about there not being money to pay for the things she is leasing. It sounds as if your husband needs to start taking her shopping for food and other needs and paying for them directly, giving her only a small amount of cash for incidentals.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jeremy

    Hi my girlfriend and her year and a half old son moved in with me and they both receive ssi however her mom is both their payee is it legal for her mom to withhold money unless they move where she wants them to move

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jeremy,

      A representative payee is responsible for seeing that the beneficiary’s shelter and food and other needs are paid for regardless of where she lives. However, if your girlfriend is a minor, the parent payee also has parental rights in trying to exert parental control over the child. Your girlfriend can ask another responsible adult to apply to be her payee.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jeremy

        My girlfriend isn’t a minor but her mom/payee is also the payee for my girlfriend’s son, yet my girlfriend has full custody of the kid and she is trying to tell her that if she wants some of the kids money to help move then she needs to move where her mom wants her to move. The mom has no legal right to tell her where to live, does she?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jeremy,

          My understanding is that both your girlfriend and her child receive benefits. My response is based on that understanding.

          Your girlfriend has a payee because it has at some point been medicallly determined that she is not capable of handling money to her own best benefit. If she herself has a payee, she cannot be payee for her child. If she disagrees with this determination, she can file to be her own payee. To be successful, she may need a supporting statement from her physician. If the physician agrees with her, he or she can complete a form SSA-787, which can be obtained online.

          There is not a hard and fast answer to the question about the scope of responsiblity of a payee. As representative payee, your girlfriend’s mother has the responsibility to pay for housing for her daughter and grandchild. This can involve making a judgement about whether housing is sanitary and safe. I suggest that your girlfriend discuss the situation with Social Security and her physician.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Marcia Wells

    My ex (we weren’t married) has filed for ssdi. He told me that including our son as a dependent was optional, which I am pretty sure isn’t true. Our son lives full time with me and is less than a year old, but we do not have legal documentation for custodial rights. Is there anything I can do to prevent my ex from having our son’s money sent to him? He pays child support, but it is very little. I can see him paying me out of our son’s money and pocketing the rest.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Marcia,

      If your child’s father is approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI), you can apply to be your child’s payee and receive his benefits directly. (Your child receiving dependent benefits will not reduce his father’s benefits.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kristina

    Hi about twelve years ago my significant other and Payee used $14,000 of my lum sum towards the down payment on a house she bought. My name was never put on the house and she passed away. Now the house belongs to a trust. I feel I should be a able o recover my lum sum as everyone has benefited but me. The value of the house has doubled that should fctor in as to how much I get back

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kristina,

      I suggest that you seek legal advice to determine what your rights are.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Cece

    My husband and have been divorced several years and our daughter is under age 18. I was recently approved for SSDI and informed she may be eligible for auxiliary benefits. My ex husband has sole legal custody and our daughter attends school in his district. However, our daughter lives with me the majority of the overnights and even though I am legally the noncustodial parent, I am the parent who receives child support and claims our daughter on taxes (since she lives with me more of the time). Can I apply to be representative payee for our daughter; and if so am I likely to be approved as payee? If not, is there some way to require my ex to provide me with a portion of the funds he receives for her if he is designated payee? I need the money to pay her food and shelter expenses while she is living with me as SSDI will be my only income, and my ex already has a large earned income from work.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cece,

      You can apply to be payee for your daughter based on her being with you more than half the time. If you are made payee, you may need to give your ex-husband some of the funds to cover her food when she is with him.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • wendy williams

    Hi, my girlfriend gets ssi and was surprised to find out that her mom was made her payee. This was news Her as her mom said nothing and she found out through social services. My question is how did this happen when and how did her mother know and why didn’t anyone tell her? Doesn’t she have rights To know this first?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Wendy,

      If your girlfriend is an adult, she should have gotten a letter from Social Security telling her a payee was appointed and who that payee was. Also the money should be used for her housing and food with any left over used for personal care, clothing, and other basic needs followed by discretional spending if any money remains.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Joni

    My Granddaughter receives ssi, I am her legal guardian and payee. I get 250 a month for rent out of her sis, I do not know where to claim that on my taxes. Is it to be claimed on them?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joni,

      The IRS should be able to answer your tax question.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Carol

    I am the RP for my daughter, age 18. She now lives in our vacation house rent free. I plan to charge her a portion of the utilities in lieu of rent, as I want to avoid tax complications. I transfer money from the SSI RP account into her checking account for her food and other expenses. I have several questions: 1) how will I account for how much was spent on food, since she’s buying her own groceries, 2) since the checking account was established when she was a minor, I am co-owner, but I do not use the account. Is that a problem? 3) if I transfer money from the SSI account into my own checking account to pay for utilities, how do I document this? 4) if I buy other items for her, do I reimburse myself, or do I pay directly out of the SSI account?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Carol,

      I suggest that you document as follows:

      1. Get a receipt book and have your daughter sign a receipt for the grocery money you give her.
      2. Write yourself a check for utilities and write “utilities payment” in the memo.
      3. Have the bank provide check copies or print them from online banking so you have copies of all disbursements from the account including the checks that are for utilities.
      4. Get a debit card and pay for everything else directly from your daughter’s account. Get and keep receipts.

      The usual account title for an adult with a representative payee is “your daughter’s name by your name, representative payee.” The reason for this title is that it means the money belongs to your daughter but you are the only one with access. If you decide to set up an account with that title, don’t close the other account until benefits start being paid to the new account. Whether you keep the same account or set up a new one, if you don’t put any of your money in the account your name being on the account will not affect her payments.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Carol

        Thank you Kay. I should clarify that I do have a payee account set up as described, in which SSI funds are deposited. From that account, I transfer money into my daughter’s checking account, on which I am joint owner, for her to buy groceries, etc. I could have her sign a receipt for money transfered into her account if that suffices for documentation.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Carol,

          It would be better to pay directly from the payee account. If it is a savings account, I would recommend setting a checking account and having the benefits paid to the checking account. If all the money is not being spent, the excess could go into the payee savings account.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Chris

    I have been my mother’s legal guardian for about a year and a half. She currently resides in a local nursing home. As her only resource is SS, I have applied to get her on Medicaid, but it has been a LONG process and a balance owed has accrued. Back in June, someone at the facility intercepted her SS payments, I must assume by applying to be her representative payee. However, I had been her guardian for a year at that point and the facility has a copy of the guardianship on record. I was not notified of any of this by anyone, and only found out when the direct deposit did not post. To date, they have only paid themselves. How can a facility take SS payments from a resident who already has a legal guardian? Shouldn’t they still be paying her other expenses, like the pharmacy? If Medicaid kicks in and backdates the coverage, won’t the facility owe that money back to her?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chris,

      It is typical that Social Security benefits are first applied to nursing home care and that Medicaid pay the difference between the Social Security and the cost of care, leaving a small amount, usually $25 or so for her personal needs such as clothing. If none of her money is being used for her prescriptions, I suggest that you meed with the administrator of the nursing home and/or the Medicaid office to see what can be done. If Medicaid back dates, it likely will pay only a supplemental amount for months that mother’s Social Security was available for her care so there will be nothing to refund.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Chris

        Is it legal for a facility to apply to become a representative payee for someone with an existing guardian without notifying that guardian?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Chris,

          I do not know whether there is any law against that.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • tasha

    If my 2 kids get disability and I be they payee but I got depression/ bipolar and I get approve for disability can I be my own payee and my kids payee

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tasha,

      If Social Security approves your claim and your being your own payee, you can continue to be payee for your children.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • tasha

        Thank you kay

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Tasha.

  • LJ

    My husband has received SSDI since 2011 for physical issues. We have 3 children that receive dependent benefits each month and my husband is the representative payee. My husband has recently been diagnosed with early stage Lewy body dementia and we will be applying for me to be representative payee soon. I am no longer able to work because I am home with him, and our only income is the SSDI and some Snap benefits. My question is, if my husband has to go to a facility at any point, will all of his SSDI payment go to the facility, and only the children’s dependent benefits will be available for household expenses? I stayed home with our children until my husband got sick, and then went to work, so I don’t have an established career, and only made about a third of what my husband made. If he goes to a facility, my income and the children’s benefit will not be enough to manage the household expenses. Will they allow any part of his payment to help his wife and children? Thank you for your time.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear LJ,

      Whether or not any of your husband’s income can be retained in the household will be determined by the rules governing the program that pays for his care. For example, if Medicaid pays for his care in a facility, it would be Medicaid law that would determine the answer. Accordingly, I suggest that you consult with your state’s Medicaid office.

      Now that you are not working, if any of your children is under age sixteen, I suggest that you discuss with Social Security applying for young wife’s benefits on your husband’s account. The total family benefits will not go up, but depending on your age and your children’s age, your entitlement now could protect your later eligibility of for disabled widow’s benefits if your husband were to die before you and you were to become disabled.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Pam

    My middle sister has been appointed representative payee for our oldest sister. Both my middle sister and I are in the process of getting appointed as guardians for our oldest sister, who is now in a nursing home. My oldest sister was already on disability prior to a major health crisis in October, and we currently don’t expect her to ever be able to live on her own again. That’s why my middle sister has become rep. payee, and why we’re seeking guardianship. I live in another state and made a trip in November to help take care of things involving my oldest sister. I met with all 3 of my sister’s therapists (physical and cognitive) and sat in on therapy sessions. I was able to provide them information about my sister that they previously didn’t know and that helped them with their therapy plans. I met with my sister’s social worker and also set up an appointment with the nursing home’s beautician so my sister could get her hair cut and permed. I made trips to stores to buy my sister some clothing and books and took her out to the cemetery where are parents are. Most importantly, I contacted an attorney and met with him about getting the guardianship processed. My middle sister, due to her job, hadn’t been able to take care of any of this since it isn’t easy for her to get away during the day. Since I traveled from another state to take care of all of this, is it possible to be reimbursed for my travel expenses from my sister’s disability? Or is this considered overhead?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Pam,

      I think that Social Security will regard your expenses as a gift from you to your sister. However, you could ask your sister (the representative payee) to ask Social Security whether some of the money can be used to reimburse you for your costs in providing services to your disabled sister.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ssdi recipient

    I was awarded ssdi in 2014, and because I have 2 children I receive children’s benefits. This year (2015), I was sent a form asking me to fill out financial info as their representative payee. The form is asking how much of the total dollar amount was used for their expenses and how much was saved. I have some questions:
    1) I was never sent this in 2014, why am I recieving it now?
    2) will I be required to fill this out every year? Or was I selected at random?
    3) both my ssdi and the benefit for my 2 children is deposited into a joint account that I share with my husband. My husband handles the bills and pays bills from that account.
    4) am I required to have a separate account in my children’s name for their benefit??
    5) can I put down the entire amount of the benefit was used on expenses to provide for them? all bills are paid from the account it’s deposited into so we pay rent, utilities, groceries, etc from that one account.
    6) I am just wondering if that is any conflict/issue with social security if the children’s benefit is deposited into my account I have with my husband?
    7) do I need to send in receipts or anything? or is filling out the form good enough?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear SSDI Recipient,

      You did not have to complete a representative payee report in 2014 because you didn’t receive benefits for the children throughout the year. You will be asked to file a report once a year. Social Security now pays children’s benefits into the same account as the disabled parent’s benefits go to so that is okay. I don’t know of any prohibition to its being a joint account with a spouse. If you save for the children’s future needs, you should open a separate savings account for each child. Otherwise if the money is all being spent on the children, then, yes, you can say it was all spent on housing, food, clothing, school supplies, and medical needs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Nickie

    My boyfriend is the payee of his mother check, his mother want his sister to be the payee of the check, but when she was the payee the first time ahe stole all the money and she went down there to get the check out of her sister name and put it in her son name, my boyfriend want to put an hold on the check so nobody get the check how can he do this?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nickie,

      All your boyfriend can do is go to Social Security and explain what you explained to me and ask whether they can flag his mother’s claim in anyway with an alert that the sister has abused funds in the past and that is why he was made payee in the first place.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Marie

    I gave this coulpe a place to stay. Her ssd stopped a few months before. When she left for the week of August. 31 i went down to her room. I found 3 5gal buckets and a cat litter box of human waste. Urine and stools. I am her payee. And i had to pay for the clean up she still owes 643$ i have paid half the past couple months. She moved out and said i cant use her money to pay for that? Is that true

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Marie,

      I suggest that you discuss this unusual situation with Social Security. I would think that you could use her funds to pay for the clean up that you had to pay for if she were still living with you. I am not sure about the situation now that she has moved out. Also, you do not say whether you are continuing to be her payee and that might be a factor.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Ms. Campbell

        Good evening, We live in NY and I have recently become my sons representative payee. I set up a bank account exactly as advised. Im tryin to purchase checks and I dont know what name to put on them. I was informed that I have to write a check each month for rent and other neccesitites. My next question is… can I just transfer funds to my account instead of writing a check and can I use a debit card to pay for his expenses. It would be so much easier to do and keep record of. Thanks for your time.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Ms. Campbell,

          The name on the check should be the same as the account title, your son’s name by your name, representative payee. If your son lives with you and he will be paying room or room and board, you should write yourself a check off his account or set up electronic bill pay to you from his account so that there is a record of the amount. You should not co-mingle his money with yours; you can pay by debit off his account–not off yours.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Ron Sullivan

    What can be done when the Rep Payee refuses to disclose any information to the Payee about the account? My 24 yr. old stepdaughter was a minor when she started getting payments for seizure disorders. The Rep Payee is her biological father’s girlfriend, who uses all of her money for her and his expenses. She (Payee) has moved out of the house, has been on her own with a boyfriend for over a year, has a child, and never sees a penny of her money. The Rep Payee refuses to do the address change, or prove where the money went. My stepdaughter did go to the bank a few days ago to ask what her balance was, and it was $8. And this is after collecting for about 7 years. What can we do, go to the police, (Outright fraud in my opinion), go to a lawyer, or something else? There has to be a way to stop this and get her the money SHE is suppose to be getting.

    Thanks for any help.
    Ron

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ron,

      Your stepdaughter, the beneficiary (not payee) should go to Social Security and report the situation. She should also file to be her own payee now that she is an adult. It would be helpful to have her doctor complete a capability statement on an SSA-787 form in support of her receiving her own benefits. The form can be obtained off the Internet.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Thomas Smith

    Can they take money you own for child support if you are the kids payee and it’s their account

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Thomas,

      I am not knowledgeable enough about child support law to know whether back child support is paid to the adult who had custody of the children when child support was due if the children are no longer with that adult. (Note that if the children are not living with you, you should not be their payee for their Social Security dependent benefits. The adult who has custody should apply to be payee.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Larry Higgins

      Today I received my approval letter. The ALJ judge recommended a payee. My claim is for PTSD and major depressive disorder. I don’t trust anybody due to these. I also don’t have any friends or family around and I doubt my dog can be my payee. My question is can my landlord be my payee if I do indeed need one and if so can he just simply hand the money over to me when he gets my checks or card however they do it. Or does he literally have to keep track of every penny and dime spent?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Larry,

        Potentially your landlord could be your payee, but he would have to write himself a check for rent and pay all your utilities directly and anything else he could pay directly. Money that he gives you for food and incidentals should be given weekly. He will also have to submit a payee accounting once a year, so he would need to keep track of how the money is used.

        If you are capable of managing your money and consistently making the decision to pay for all necessities (housing, food, medical co-pays, laundry, transportation, etc) before anything else, you might consider asking your psychiatrist to complete a capability statement on form SSA-787.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Amanda

    My sister is her daughters payee who is 26yrs old. The daughter is very abusive physical and verbally. The daughter suffers from split personality ocd manic behavior. The daughter believes that because my sister is her payee that she gets to live in my sisters house for free. Is this true? My sister has been trying to get the daughter out of her house but the daughter refuses to apply to police because my sister is her payee. Which she is going to have herself taken off.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Amanda,

      It is appropriate for your sister to use some of her daughter’s benefits to pay for her food and for a share of the utilities and rent or mortgage or to pay a flat rate for rent if her daughter is getting food stamps for her food. Perhaps your sister can show her daughter the payee pamphlet guide that says that food and housing are supposed to be paid first before other purchases.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Serena

    I have a 14 year old son who has SSI. My son has lots of transportation cost, and medical expenses. He requires 24 supervision and care. I have three doctor statements and a behaviorist saying what my expenses are every month. Section 8 will not write off the expenses, neither will the snap program due to him not being the head of household, but they do figure his income into the family total when figuring our rent and snap benefit. Can I appoint his father as payee (who lives in another town) in order to use his check for all his medical expenses, and needs? It wouldn’t be part of my family’s income at this point, is this correct?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Serena,

      I am not a subject-matter expert on SNAP and housing rules. I can tell you that your son’s SSI benefit is his income regardless who is his payee. Also Social Security is unlikely to appoint a payee who lives in a different state. His father could pay his medical expenses directly to the providers and his payments would not reduce your son’s SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Venus

        Hi Kay So my daughter was approve for ssi from her father in july or august and i was sent a letter saying that all the benefits was being paid to him so there was nothing left for her unless he past away. but i recently did a phone interview with my caseworker from the DHS office who said that it was showing up as her receiving 6$ a month, which isn’t much but why haven’t they sent me a letter stating this

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Venus,

          I suggest going to your local Social Security office and telling them that DHS says that your daughter is getting Social Security Dependent benefits of $6 which is inconsistent with the letter you got saying no dependent benefits were payable because the full family maximum was being used up by her father’s benefit. Have them check to see if the $6 is being paid to her father. If it is not, ask for a current letter confirming that $6 is not being paid.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Tyisha

    Can my 15 year old daughter that lives with me be my payee?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tyisha,

      A minor is not allowed to serve as a payee for another person.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Heather scigliano

    This is the first year my sons have had disability. At the end of the year do I send in the receipts for wht was bought or only if they ask? I live in Missouri.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Heather,

      Wait under you get a request to complete a payee accounting form, which will be roughly once a year but not necessarily coinciding with year end.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Lynda

        My husband gets my ssdi sent to him. We have two houses. I want to move to the other house can I live in California and he lives in Utah and still get the ssdi ck. When they send a form every 6 months or maybe it’s once a year they alway ask did you live with this person the whole time you received the ssdi ck. We will remain married I just want to go back and live in the other house that he owns and is paid for in full. Was given to him when is mom and dad dyed. Should I add my name on to the house will it matter?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Lynda,

          Where you live does not matter affect your eligibility for Social Security Disability. Your husband is being asked whether you lived with your husband for the full year because he is your representative payee. It would be difficult for him to serve as your payee with the two of you living in different states. Do you have a reliable relative or friend in California who could serve as your payee?

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Lynda

            My husband gets my ssdi sent to him. We have two houses. I want to move to the other house can I live in California and he lives in Utah and still get the ssdi ck. When they send a form every 6 months or maybe it’s once a year they alway ask did you live with this person the whole time you received the ssdi ck. We will remain married I just want to go back and live in the other house that he owns and is paid for in full. Was given to him when is mom and dad dyed. Should I add my name on to the house will it matter? I. Have my friends that live in California. I thought if I put the phone and everything in my name and a pay for things with my credit card and he paid the stuff with my ck including the tax we pay on the house I could do it. If I put my name on that house and we rent it out for. Income do I need to report that monte as income to ss even if I did not work for the money ? If I need do report it as income how to I get it if he gets I’ll we have a living trust and power of attorney we just have not updated it. Thanks

          • Lynda

            Sorry that last post is hard to understand. Yes I have friends in California. I would rather not use them I thought if I put power and water bills in my name and we pay the property tax on the house with my money. Then I would put food and medical on my credit card and he pays it all I could do this. I would just need to add my name to the. House because I would be paying the tax. On the house. Or if we rent the house out and make money will I need to show this as income if we put my name on the house. I Want to have my name added to it for security if he gets I’ll are should I just keep my name off it and add it in to are will and trust. Thank you sorry I posted twice

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Lynda,

              Please see my response of November 9. This is in response to both your posts of November 11. I suggest that you and your husband go to Social Security and discuss your plan about how he would be able to see that your needs are met while living in a different state. As far as ownership of the property, if you are receiving Social Security, not Supplemental Security Income, whether or not your name is on the property will not affect your benefits. Beyond that, for advice you would need to discuss the situation with a financial planner or estate attorney.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Adrianne

    My daughters grandmother is her payee on her ssi. She also lived with her previously. She came to live with me in September. On October 16…I submitted an application to become her payee because at that time her grandmother had sent her $140 and by the end of October, she had still only sent her $140. I know for a fact that she is not saving any of the money. Instead she spends it on her 30 yr old daughter who cant keep a job. She recieved the payment for November and my daughter called her and told her that she needed shoes for basketball and a separate pair for school…to which she replied. I will buy you one pair but not 2. She told my daughter that she was gonna keep her check because she “needed” it. Its my understanding that the check is supposed to spent on the childs needs and the household that she lives in. This is not the case. What can I do about this situation without throwing her under the bus?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Adrianne,

      Report the situation to the Social Security Administration and ask them to get the grandmother to refund the November money so that it can be reissued to you. Also check to be sure that your application is on track for the December payment to come to you. If there is any question about it being processed on time, ask that the benefits be suspended until you are set up as payee.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • My ex-boyfriend and I split up in November of 2011 after 17 years together. Within the next six months, he became increasingly depressed and attempted suicide three times, saved within minutes the last time by an alert police officer. He has been diagnosed with variations of depression, and manic-depression. He applied for benefits, was denied, and for ~two years, a friend and i advocated for him, fought for him, worried about him, forced him to keep fighting and keep appealing. He was finally awarded benefits and receives approximately $40 from SSI and $1,560 from SSDI each month

    When the benefits were awarded, SS felt he had to have a representative payee. His family selected his daughter although she was clear about not wanting any part of it.

    Since he began receiving benefits, he has handled his own finances. His daughter gave him the ATM card without even opening the envelope.

    It’s very hard for him to live on the income he gets and my friend and I help him often. In doing that, we know what his expenses are, how he allocates his monthly benefits and how he makes the decisions that go along with that

    SS has been asking his daughter to complete forms and to provide records and receipts. She throws the letters away. IF she is forced to answer in the future, she will say he took the card.

    I understand he can request to have the payee removed (SSA 787) but how does he respond to the requests from SS to the current payee? He doesn’t have all the records and receipts they’re asking for because he was unaware of the requirements of a payee.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Adrienne,

      I suggest that your ex-boyfriend go to Social Security now and explain that the payee has never managed the money because she didn’t want to and that he has been doing so with the help of friends. He can ask to be his own payee on the basis that he has been doing so all along. When a person receives benefits directly, there is no requirement to keep receipts and report the use of funds. (Just a note: it seems very unlikely that he is receiving both $1,560 Social Security and $40 Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because Social Security of $753 or more would make him financially ineligible for SSI.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Adrienne

        Kay,

        Thank you for your reply – you are a fountain of knowledge!

        I will be going to Social Security with him this week. Will there be any repercussions to his daughter for not performing the duties of his RP? He says that she never signed anything agreeing to it.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Adrienne,

          His daughter had to have applied to be payee to have had the benefits sent in her name. She may be asked to repay funds she did not use for him.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Carrie

    I am a payee for my fiance who receives ssi and ssd. I have applied for ssi benefits for myself, bit have not been approved yet. If/ when I get approved can I still be his payee?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Carrie,

      If you are capable of receiving your own SSI benefits without a payee, you can continue to be your fiance’s representative payee.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Chris

    I have a question, I honestly thought that I had turned in the representative payee report.. but for some reason my daughter did not get her November benefits, which should have been in her card October 30 according to the schedule. What do I need to do? Will she lose her benefits for November? Will they issue them out right away?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chris,

      November 1 benefits may be scheduled for payment on November 2. Others have not received the November 1 payment by November 1. If your daughter has still not received the benefit, contact Social Security to find out whether it was issued. If not, find out why; and if it is because they did not receive the accounting form, submit it again.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Amy

    My daughter is 4 weeks old and will receive benefits because my husband is legally blind. We understand we must use all funds for her. We have some questions…
    1. Can we use the funds for her birthday and Christmas presents?
    2. When she’s older, can we take her on vacation with her funds?
    3. Our medical insurance went up $100 and is taken directly out of my paycheck, can we get reimbursed for the $100?
    4. Can we use any of her funds towards the house payment as a shelter expense?
    5. After she turns 18, what is to be done with all the funds in savings?
    They were very vague at the SS office and we just want to make sure we are doing right by her and are using all funds in an appropriate manner.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Amy,

      You can use your daughter’s funds for the things you listed in 1, 2, and 4. If the $100 increase in insurance is an increase in your daughter’s portion of the premium, you can use some of her benefit to cover that increase, but not your premium. The money can also be used for clothes, haircuts, school supplies and activities, and when she is older an appropriate allowance. With regard to savings on hand when she turns eighteen, the money should be turned over to your daughter and you should get a receipt signed by your daughter acknowledging receipt of the money.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Amy

        Hi Kay, Yes the $100 a month is the increase for her portion. This was all very helpful! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions!
        Best Regards, Amy

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Amy.

  • Darlene

    Can a Legal Guardian use the web site to enroll for the individual? It states that it is only for individual use, that seems a bit crazy since some people can’t do it themselves, hence the Guardianship.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Darlene,

      If the guardian is a representative payee appointed by the Social Security Administration to receive and manage a claimant’s benefits, then the payee should be able to set up a “my Social Security” account on the website.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jay

    I have a question and couldn’t find an answer on google so maybe you can help me?
    One of my family members has an adult mentally disabled/handicapped son. She messed up her credit and is now using her sons credit which I am a little bothered by. Is what she is doing okay? Are there any laws she is breaking by doing so?

    Thanks in advance~

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jay,

      Your question would be better addresses to an attorney who deals in credit law. (If the family member is not using the disabled son’s benefits for her own use, she is probably not breaking any Social Security rules.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sara marie

    Hello I’m trying to get some information my mother was renting a room from me and today her payee called me and said as of today we are placing her in her own residence and that they won’t be paying me her portion of rent which is gonna Be due on November 1st? I got no written letter or statement from her payee or my mother prior to this and I’m sure California state law requires a 30days notice If I’m not mistaken? Her payee is not following the guidelines at all who can I speak with to get more information about this or anyone have a phone number or contact info? Her items are still currently all still here at my residence as well so this is all news to me once I got that voicemail today! Anyone else have issues like this also and know what can be done?? Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sara Marie,

      For answers regarding rental law, check with the appropriate California agency. You can also report this to Social Security; however, if the representative payee is using your mother’s funds for your mother, it is unlikely that they will enter into issues relating to tenant-landlord law.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Gina

    Hello,

    I have a question, I am Rep Payee for my daughter. Her dad passed away in July 2015 and I became Rep payee for her social security survivor benefits. I understand that I am to use the benefits for her and save what ever I don’t use. Which I have been doing. I do have a question, is there a problem with spending the funds to take her on a vacation? My daughter is 13 and has just lost her Dad, she has not had a good year. I wanted to take her on a surprise cruise for Christmas. I have paid off most of it with my own funds, but I have to pay off the balance by the end of the month with is now. LOL. My budget just wont allow me to pay off the balance without using my daughters funds. Can I do this?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Gina,

      You can use your daughter’s benefits to pay for her cruise ticket, which presumably would be half of the total costs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Brandon hill

    My fiance had a tbi over a year ago during her recovery she helped out and watched her son from a previous relationship which his father was killed in an accident he receives benefits and so does she her sister is in charge of the money since her son was with her now my fiance is home and is doing awesome and her son is back with us her sister is still receiving the money and using what my fiance gets to help pay bills and puts her son’s money into an account and when my fiance asks for money for groceries or household items her sister says there is no money is that legal

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brandon,

      If your fiance is medically capable of handling her funds and the funds of her son, she can apply to receive her own benefits and to be representative payee for her son’s benefits. In the meantime, her sister should be making money available to pay for the child’s food, clothing, and personal needs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • natasha jones

    My mom past a 3 months ago. Her ex husband or she maybe still married before her time of death. . He and my mom has not been married less than a year , they were separated and they went separate ways. As to my knowledge she was divorce. He was incarnated for at least 10 years in 2003. She started her divorce procedure. He has not been with her. I object to him benefiting from my mom social security. Can I stop him from getting her social security?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Natasha,

      If you mother and her ex-husband were married ten years and he is old enough for divorced surviving spouse’s benefits, he is potentially eligible for benefits if he has not remarried prior to a certain age. If he is eligible, you cannot stop his receiving benefits that is entitled to receive under the law.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Joy

    I’m my nephew’s payee, he’s 30 yrs old. After his bills are paid, personal needs are met & money is put into his savings I divide the remaining amount up for a weekly allowance. Every time he goes to cash his allowance check the bank charges a fee. My question is, to avoid this fee can I open a checking account for him?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joy,

      Technically, your nephew’s benefits are not supposed to be in an account that he has access to; however, if you deposited every week, it would probably be fine. Another option would be to give him cash and get a carbon copy receipt book and have him sign a receipt for when you give him his weekly allowance.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Danielle

    Hello,

    I am my husband’s payee representative and legal guardian. My husband is currently in a nursing facility and receives SSDI. I pay the monthly amount to the facility as required by Medicaid and then I purchase his clothes and personal hygiene items etc. After all of this, the remaining amount goes towards our mortgage or the care of our daughter who just turned 18. Where do I list this amount when I am filling out my payee report?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Danielle,

      If your husband will not be returning home, using part of his funds to pay the mortgage may not be allowable and likely using his funds to care for your daughter isn’t not be allowable.

      However, I am wondering whether part of “the monthly benefit” has been benefits for your daughter paid into your husband’s bank account. If that is the case, then you may be using your daughter’s, not your husband’s income, to pay the mortgage and it would be appropriate to use your daughter’s dependent benefits to pay for her housing. (Note that is she is still in high school her benefit can continue until she is age nineteen or graduates, whichever is first. She does have to submit proof of school attendance to continue to be eligible.) I recommend that you clarify the benefits with Social Security to find out whether two benefits are being paid, one for your husband and one for your daughter.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Constance Smith

    I have a SERIOUSLY BURNING QUESTION. I discovered that I could request “Reasonable Accommodations for Disability” due to my son’s autism. Section 8 approved the request and now we will be able to move with new voucher into 2 bedroom AND NOT the 1 bedroom they were trying to give us.

    I’m my son’s SSI payee as well as his caretaker. My son agreed that I could be his Power of Attorney (POA) since he has some anger issues that could land him in serious trouble and he wouldn’t be able to explain because limited ability to communicate. We will attend a Legal Aid workshop this month to learn more.

    My QUESTION: Additionally, I receive SSI due to my disability (cancer). We are blessed to receive Section 8 voucher for last 10 years. Should my income be counted since I’m his caretaker or ONLY his income counts? I’m kinda sorta wondering. A friend who is caretaker for her sister says Section 8 shouldn’t consider my income since I’m his caretaker.

    What’s your spin on this? I live in Dallas, Texas. Thanks in advance.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Constance,

      To get a reliable answer, you need to ask the housing office. I would think that if you are not being paid in an official capacity to care for your son, you may not be considered a caretaker by the housing authority. If you do have some appointed capacity as a caretaker, bring up that fact with the housing office and find out what they say.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Stephen

    My brother is receiving Railroad Disability. His wife has filed for divorce and his son and I have been appointed guardians due to mental incompetence. The court has assigned his disability check to his wife to pay for their mortgages and her support. We only have $400 to pay for his monthly bills. She has use of their home. We have had to buy him a place to stay and furnish it and pay for all of his bills. Is this legal and what avenues do we have to get this corrected.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stephen,

      I am not sufficiently knowledgeable in Railroad Insurance law to answer your question, but it does not seem right. I do not think that a court has the right to assign benefits to anyone. If it is like Social Security law, the Railroad Benefit law would say to whom the benefits are paid, not a court. I suggest that you try to discuss this with a Railroad Board office. (Usually there is a local office in larger cities.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Rafael

      My wife has been the payee for my son for the past year. He also has behavioral problems that at times make it dangerous to be at home. Every once I a while he runs away and social workers say we are responsible for housing him when he runs away or we are abusing his money. He just takes off and is gone for days…we have no idea where he goes. How can we be held accountable for housing him when even the cops can’t find him. Just today, based upon information given to ssi from the social worker about this jousing

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Rafael,

        Your post appears to be cut off, but I will attempt to answer. I suggest that you go to Social Security and talk with a claims representative, not a service representative. Explain that your son’s disability includes behavior issues and as a result sometimes he runs off. Explain that you use some of his money (if you do) to maintain a home for your son to return to and the you are not spending any of his money for anything for other members of the family. Also explain that his absences are temporary–a few days. Explain what you have explained to me that you contact the police when he goes missing and try to locate him.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Jenice

    My brother is going to get ssi social security . He is not able to take care of his bills. He gives his credit card to a neighbor that he hardly knows. My brother buys them food takes them out. Can this neighbor be is beneficiary? He is using my brother for the money he has.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jenice,

      If your brother is not paying for his shelter, food, transportation and medical needs, I suggest that you report this situation to Social Security and apply to be your brother’s payee so you can pay for his basic needs and give him money weekly for incidentals. Go on record that the neighbor should not be payee. Note that for anyone to be payee, your brother has to be found incapable of directing the use of his own benefits. I don’t know whether Social Security will pay for an examination to determine capability after benefits are already being paid.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Alex

    Hi, I am currently the payee for my brothers ssi and disability every month, I gave the bank the paperwork from social security and as far as I know I was supposed to have the only access to the account, but with in the last few months he has been able to make online transfers, change his debit card twice and was allowed to sign up to some debit card advanced program where it allows him to take money out even if he has no funds on his account. He is not able to handle his financial matters and spends money on other things other than for rent food or clothes, is the bank allowed to allow him to make these moves even with a payee?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Alex,

      Check the title of the bank account before going. If the title of the bank account is “your brother’s name by your name, representative payee” you are the only one who should be able to access the account. Your brother should not be able to get a debit card or have online access or withdraw in any manner. Although you could discuss the problem with the bank (see below), the simplest thing is to open another account at another bank (not another branch) and fill out papers to have future benefits go to the new account. You will need your payee appointment papers or other written verification from Social Security that you are his payee. Do not tell your brother where the account is or the account number. Though inconvenient, buy money orders to pay rent, utilities, bus tickets, medical bills, etc. so that your brother can’t find out from a third party the bank on which checks were drawn. Buy a carbon-copy receipt book and have your brother sign a receipt for all cash you give him for incidentals and food.

      Alternatively, you can go to the bank with your payee papers and explain what has been going on and ask the manager what can be done to stop it and whether if you open a new account with them, they can guarantee that your brother won’t have access.

      Lastly, if the account as set up as a joint account or with you shown as power of attorney, then your brother has legal access to the account and the solution is to open another account with the correct title.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lawree

    Hi. My son on ssi due to mental illness( depression, bipolar, adhd),and he is almost 20. He lives in Ga with his dad now , but until age 17 , he lived in ny with me( his mom).I signed over custody when he moved to Ga and his dad became his payee. My son is continuously emotionally abused in this house and wants to leave and live on his own , which he is capable of, however, he is not capable of handling his money. Also, his money isnt being used for HIS needs. When he tried to report this to soc sec, they told him they cant speak to him, only his dad- like hes going to admit anything!?! I cant speak for him because im not his guardian or payee, so he has NO VOICE!!!! Is he able to appoint me representative payee although im in a different state? Like in a joint account( i send landlord rent, give him certain amount for food- he shows receipts, etc)…? Any way to do this? He has NO ONE else he trusts, moving back to ny is NOT an option ,and i cant move there for almost another year! What can we( he) do????? Please help! He needs to get out of there and either get his own checks or have someone else take care of him. He doesnt get much so paying a payee would really be last resort! Any suggestions would be appreciated!!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lawree,

      I suggest that you go to your local Social Security office and apply to be your son’s payee. Explain the situation to a claims representative (not a front-desk service rep) as you have to me. Write out the plan of how you would handle the paying of housing and bus tickets directly and providing weekly food money and requesting receipt from your son. Also say that you plan to move to Florida in a year and will be near him then. Have your son sign a statement about the emotional abuse and which or his needs is not being met. Take that with you because that will give him a voice. If that fails, is there anyone in Florida who could be his payee?

      One question: is your son capable of looking for an apartment and does he have enough money to pay for one? And, one important note: you cannot have a joint account with your son because he would have direct access to the benefits. A payee account is set up with the title “your son’s name by your name, representative payee.” So, you would have to mail him a check or money order every week and he would have to have I.D. and have a local bank account where he could cash the checks or a place to cash money orders.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Brittney

        How do I ask a question to Kay on here?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Brittney,

          You just asked a question. Do the same thing again.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Karmon

        I have a question. I’m the legal guardian of a child whose mother was molested at a young age by her uncle. The child is now 11. The father gets ssdi and I wanted to know if the child would be able to receive it as well

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Karmon,

          If you can prove paternity, the child can receive Social Security dependent benefits if his earnings were high enough to provide a family maximum benefit larger than his own benefit. Given that you have custody, you can file a claim; but you will need the father’s Social Security number for his record to be identified.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Judy Waldrop

            Can i pay rent for my daughter with her disability check if she’s out of town for 2 months?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Judy,

              If your daughter receives Social Security Disability (SSD, aka SSDI) and she is not renting a room from you, you can pay her rent as long as plans on returning to her home and wants the rent paid and as long as her shelter and food needs are met where she is visiting. If she rents a room from you, the situation–paying yourself rent when she isn’t there–becomes more questionable.

              If your daughter receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) the situation is the same if she is really temporary absent from her ongoing residence; but if not, you need to report her new living arrangements. Also because she will be gone for more than thirty days, you must report if she went our of the U.S.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Maria

    My daughter is 16 yes old and received disability and because her dad played child support it was deducted out of the disability every month. Since June he hasn’t made a payment so I went to s.s. office so there is back pay old but 3 weeks ago she moved out and is now living with her father and I got a letter telling me today that her payee has changed, does this mean he will get her back pay too? We have joint custody but I’m the primary custodial parent

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Maria,

      It is likely that the back benefits will be paid to the current payee.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Beth Soleiman

    Hi.
    My 18 year old son just received his first SS check, with me as representative payee. Can I use some of that money to pay a neighbor hood teenager to come to my house to help me with his care, or am I limited to hiring “professional” help? Can I pay my other teenage children to help with his (disabled son’s) care?
    I’m keeping very detailed records; I just want to make sure I’m following the guidelines.
    Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Beth,

      You can use some of your child’s benefits to pay for help to care for him. As long as the you are obtaining competent care, I don’t think paying the neighbor will be questioned. I am not sure about paying someone in the household; but if all your child’s other needs are being met, it may not be a problem. I suggest talking to a claims representative at Social Security about this.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • natasha

    Mrs. Kay I am a concerned mother my daughter gets disability but my mother is over her check my mother is married and her husband takes care of all the bills my mother claims she buys grocery but she has yet to buy my daughter shoes for the school year she hasnr saved a dime of her money dnt get me wrong she has shoes thts a year old..my mother has went bankrupt with in the time she’s been over her my daughter will be 17 soon is there anyway she can get her own check? Because my mother is not spending it on bills or her she doent even know she gets a check..but my mother stays shopping for herself

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Natasha,

      Usually a minor cannot be her own payee. Apparently, you cannot be payee, but perhaps there is another adult who could be. If not, you can help your daughter apply to be her own payee reporting what you know about your daughter’s unmet needs. However, if she is living with her grandmother and the grandmother is providing food and shelter, it could be that most of the money is going for that.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Francisco Virgen

    My dad has been my mom’s payee but he collects nothing. We have been managing with my mom’s ssi for 5 years now. My mom can’t be left alone due to her illness she can’t cook keep any memory locked in. My dad has no source of income what can we do so he can collect his ssi or retire early.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Francisco,

      I suggest that your father contact your state’s social services department to see whether they have a program that pays a small wage or stipend to family members who provide care severely disabled relatives. Also, please clarify a couple points for me so that I can respond more fully. Are you a minor living in the household? How old is your father? Is he disabled? Has the family applied for SNAP (formerly called food stamps)? Is your mother receiving Social Security Disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

      Thank you,
      Kay

  • Taylor

    My half sister is only 17. Our father passed when we were young. I recently applied for her Social Security since she wanted to live with me. Her mother has never given her any of the money and has been using the money for drugs. She wants to move back with her mom. What do I do? Will the checks stop all together?

    • Taylor

      Will I get any money since she’s been staying here for 3 months and didn’t pay anything.?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Taylor,

        Please see my response to your first posting. If you are made payee and if Social Security investigates your half sister’s mother for misuse of funds and if they determine misuse occurred and are able to get the money back from her mother and reissue it to you, you could reimburse yourself for your half-sister’s food and any other money you spent directly for her.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Taylor,

      I suggest that if your half sister moves back in with her mother that you report that she has moved and that her mother has misused funds in the past to buy drugs. If you wish, you can request that you continue to be her payee. That way you can buy her clothes, school supplies, and bus tickets and, give her money to buy her own food (she’s old enough to do that). If any is left over, you can give her an allowance.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • danny

    Can anyone give advise on fincial

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Danny,

      It looks as if your question was cut off. If you would like to ask it again, I will respond.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • B. Brothers

    My girlfriend has SSI and her uncle is payee, and has been incarcerated twice this year and she wants me to be her Rep payee. According to her grandfather who owns the house she had not been paying the rent they agreed upon since her uncle was incarcerated and after he was released.

    Is it possible for me to be her rep if I live with her, and will it be reduced even if she continues to pay rent and food?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear B.,

      You and your girlfriend should report to Social Security that your girlfriend’s uncle has not been paying her rent and that she owes her grandfather and has to repay him for the missing rent. Provide the information that her payee has been jailed twice this year. You can file to be payee for her whether you live with her or not. As far as her being her own payee, I suggest that she discuss this with her physician. If the physician agrees that she is capable of directing the use of her funds, ask him or her to complete an SSA-787 form. She can then take the form to Social Security and apply to be her own payee.

      The effect of your living with her is a bit more complicated. Your income will not affect her Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits; however, the living arrangements are not as straight forward. Apparently, your girlfriend has been a renter in her grandfather’s home, not sharing expenses as part of the household. If you move in, will you be in her household, renting a room separate from hers or be in her grandfather’s household. If you share a room with her and are part of her household, then she has to pay at least half of the rent charged to the two of you for the room; otherwise, her benefits will go down.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • marie

    Hi my daughter is 19 Y/O and is receiving SSI $733 monthly. She is intellectually disable, has manic depression and bipolar.

    We currently reside in the bronx, live together and I am her payee. However I’m moving, to a new apartment in the bronx and my daughter has decided that she does not want to move with me her payee ( mother). she wants to live with her grandmother who lives closer to her school. Her grandmother also gets SSI and has section 8. I know this has to be reported to section 8. But my question is the following:

    will either Parties SSI be affected? can I continue to be my daughter payee although we will not reside together but will see her every ? And will she have to contribute to the expense once living with my mother?

    Because once reported to section 8 grandmother rent portion will increase and my daughter will be responsible for the difference

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Marie,

      To continue to receive the maximum SSI while living with her grandmother, your daughter has to pay her share, one half of the rent and household utilities (not phone or cable) and pay for her own food or pay for half of the food it they share food. If you continue to be your daughter’s payee, which is possible, you must use part of her benefit check to cover those costs; and, of course, use all her benefits for her or save them for her future needs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jess

        Hello, first off thank you for your help. I am 32 years old single mom to a 6yr old daughter residing in california. My xhusband/daughters father is permanently out of the picture as of two years ago. He has never met his child support obligations and I’ve exhausted every legal option to hold him responsible. I have full legal and physical custody with a 5 year restraining order, my case is managed through child support agency and he’s already been in and out of contempt hearings for two years with no effect.. all this effort on my end doesn’t financially help my situation monthly. Even if he did pay, with being on cash aid I only recieve $50 a month as they take the rest to pay back my cash aid. I have been unable to work for the past year and a half. in may 2015 I was diagnosed by my psychotherapist as severely bipolar one, ultradian cycler, mixed episodes with psychosis/ delusions, followed with ptsd, adhd, agoraphobia/social anxiety. I am unable to work or learn a new trade due to the rapid nature of mental and emotional instabilities. As of August 2015, I filed for ssdi and ssi both for me and will file for my daughter once decided if I’m eligible. At most I’m expected to make 900 to 1050 a month through ssdi, ssi and my daughter’s amount combined if all awarded. While I wait for disability, I am on cash aid, calfresh, medical, and on the section 8 housing 6yr wait list for my county (cheaper counties wait lists are closed and not accepting applications for I’ve already checked)… I’ve already declared bankruptcy, lost everything during the financial crisis, I have no assets or savings. We already live with my sister who helps take care of me and my daughter but makes pennies too. My living expenses are 1000 a month for two bedrooms in a duplex for my portion of rent and utilities for me and my daughter, my sister pays her share. There isn’t cheaper living in my area, as we moved to this house because it was the cheapest we could find…and I do not have resorces to relocate or maintain my family independently in a new location. I drive an old truck with 280k miles on it as my only means to transport my daughter to school and it gets 12mpg. I couldn’t sell it to buy a better gas efficient vehicle as it’s not worth but scrap and I couldn’t afford payments or have a down payment for anything other. My cash aid is only 570 a month and my calfresh is only 359, child support of maybe 50. I have no other means until disability is decided and granted which I hear will take a minimum of 5 months starting September 2015. Even when it kicks in, I will no longer qualify for cash aid and my calfresh amount will reflect that income. I am lost for solutions as ive researched all agencies and I’ve applied and get it all…and I’m left with nothing but “sorry” when I ask how am I suppose to support a child while suffering from severve mental disabilities on absolute best case scinario $1200 a month, when my basic living expenses for a roof over our head, a vehicle to transport and food exceeds 1600 a month? Also, my utilities are as low as possible being on a well and in the country (the cheapest rent in area). Since the financial crisis and losing everything, in 6 years I’ve managed to go from living in a tent with a 5 month old, to a broken down travel trailer for two years, to a couch and finally scrapped my way to a duplex so that for once in my daughter’s life she has her own room. After all this and suffering with a mental illnesss… I really, really don’t want to go back to living in a tent…. and would appreciate any advice.
        Thank you!

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jess,

          I assume that you have checked apartment prices to see if they are less than a duplex. I don’t have much to offer other than to have your daughter share your room–not same bed, but two twin beds–and get a roommate for the other bedroom to help cover costs.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Heather

    My mother’s friend is trying to move in with my mother due to his living conditions being unsafe. However, his representative payee is threatening to keep his money if he moves out. Can she get away with that? Also, can he change his representative payee?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Heather,

      I suggest that your mother and her friend go to Social Security to explain the situation and the threat. (It would be illegal for the payee to keep the money.) If your mother wants to be her friend’s payee and the friend is agreeable, your mother can file to be payee at that time. If it would be better for another person to serve as payee, I suggest that the prospective payee also go to the office at the same time to file the payee application.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Hi I have a question. My sister receives ssi benifits through my dad who is currently getting them for disability. He wants to move to AZ but my sister wants to finish school here in CA. Can she stay with me until she finished school? Can I become her payee? What can we do his decision is final. Can she stay with me or she has to go with him. By the way she’s 16.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Maria,

      I can’t comment on the guardianship issue of your sister or who has the say on where she lives. If she stays with you, you can file to be her payee for her Social Security dependent benefits (not SSI) on the basis that you will better know her needs than her father in a different state.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Cheri

    My mother lives in a nursing home. I was approved to be my mothers payee recently however when I moved her to a different city in the same state she was transferred to a different facility still owned by the same company. They applied to be her payee. What can I do to continue to be her payee and not the nursing home.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cheri,

      I suggest that you go to your local Social Security office and file a formal application to be payee. Provide a written statement to go with the application. Explain why you moved your mother to a different city, why you want to continue to be her payee, and how you can monitor her can monitor what her needs are. You might also take a spending plan for her monthly check as well.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • esther

    i have a question kay,
    my son ran away hes 17 year old , he went to live with his girlfriend and her parents without my consent we live in a different county 6 hours away.. i reported him to cops as a run away he was getting ssi disability but he was able to transfer it to another payee which it was the parents that was the payee then… i had told social security that he was a runaway and that i had a report and to stop the payment till we find him and is returned… ssi agent said it did not matter if he was a runaway or 17 years old as long as he is living somewhere else the other person would be the payee because of his disablility . i was so upset because he is still under my care and still a minor in the state of texas.. can they actually do this ?? and now hes back me after he was incarcerated after beating up his girlfriend.. now we are arguing with ssi because the parents lied to them and said my son never paid rent when in reality they get the entire check and they did not give my son nothing and kept all his clothes.. how can they deduct 300 dollar on my sons check next month if there is no proof there just taking his word … dont think this is right for the fact is that he is trying to get some money just to retaliate against my son of what he did to his daughter. can i fight this matter because in reality he was suppost to use it on rent so why would he say he did not pay rent if he receives the entire check under his name???????

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Esther,

      I assume you are now your son’s payee again. If so, you can appeal the reduction in benefits. Your son needs to make a statement for the appeal saying that he was not given any money by the former payee and did not buy anything for him so the payee received the full amount of his check toward those costs. However, you are unlikely to win the appeal because of the following:

      The only way that your son will not be charged in-kind (non-cash) support and maintenance for the months that he lived in the other household is if his girlfriend’s parents provide a statement of the number of people in the household, the dates your son was with them, and the amount of the rent or mortgage, household utilities, and food costs, if they were also providing food. The statement should also include how much of the SSI checks was used toward those costs. They also have to present proof of the shelter costs.

      Lacking that statement, you can’t prove that your son was paying his share even if his whole benefit went toward the household and food costs; so your son’s benefits will be reduced by one-third until he has been out of the household for two months. (Income, including in-kind income is counted two months after it’s received.). Also note that if he was in jail for thirty days, he was not eligible while he was in jail.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jennifer

    My Mother is the payee and was as legal guardian for my disabled adult brother, who lives with her. Each month she takes some of his money from his account and places it in to her checking account to pay his portion of the bills. She is wondering if it was okay to continue to do this? Otherwise it would be hard to grocery shop for just him, when she’s grocery shopping for her household. Or pay the electric bill in portions based on just his use. She lets Social Security know of what she uses for his needs each year on the payee report. However she is worried that she’s doing something wrong by paying for everything by moving money in to her checking to do so. He has quite a bit saved up, as she only takes what is needed for his needs. Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jennifer,

      Your mother can and should transfer money to her account for your brother’s share of housing costs, food, and household supply products such as soap and paper products, of course, keeping a record of the transfers. She should pay for his personal needs of clothing, medical, haircuts, and entertainment from his account. If he is getting Social Security, he can save up any amount. If he is getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI), he will become ineligible once he has more than $2,000 and will remain ineligible until he spends down to $2,000 again.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Hello i have a question who you get child support from

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Anastasia,

        I do not understand your question. Could you please ask it again with a little bit of background information so I can understand your situation.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Pamela

    Kay, I have a question. I am a representative payee, and my client is driving himself into debt. I pay his bills and pay for his food and necessities, and after that there isn’t a whole lot left. I managed to start making payments on a couple of the cards he had taken out, but he has taken out many more than he has money for, and has dug himself nearly $10K into debt. He is now contemplating bankruptcy after attempting to consolidate his debt with a company that wasn’t legit, and I refused to pay them, because they were trying to take money without settling his debt, and didn’t even have some of the info right…they were in fact, not legitimate. Which is why I would not give them money. Even though I cannot control whether he applies for a card online or not or in a store when he spends his “allowance” for his personal needs, can I get into trouble for his financial situation? I have a family of my own, and it seems like this is more of a headache than I need. But there are limited payees, and the last company was embezzling money from people, so he doesn’t have many options…every time I mention maybe giving up being his payee, he and his girlfriend guilt me into staying and say they’re going to tell SS that his debt is all my fault because I didn’t stop him if I quit. What are my options? Can I be held accountable for things I have no control over?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Pamela,

      I suggest that you write up a statement about the situation including your reasons for not paying the dubious debt consolidation company and ask that it be put on file in your client’s SSI file. If you are not already doing so, be sure to get a receipt from him for any money you give the client for his small miscellaneous expenses.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Amanda

        Kay,

        I am going through the same thing right now, but I am not yet the payee. I want to know if I can be held legally responsible for his debt if I do in fact take over his financials because he is completely inept to take care of it himself. It scares me that if he takes out credit cards and payday loans and I am his payee they can come after me and my personal finances. I am a single person with 2 small children, I can’t afford to have money taken from my personal account for his irresponsibility.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Amanda,

          If you become payee for another person, your finances will not be co-mingled with his. As far as the Social Security Administration is concerned, you are responsible for paying the disabled person’s basic expenses first: housing including utilities, food, clothing, medical co-pays, personal hygiene and household necessities, bus tickets or gasoline. You should pay these things directly whenever possible. If you give the disabled person money for entertainment, the amount should generally be split up into weekly amounts. I recommend getting a signed receipt (buy a simple receipt book) for the cash. Have a discussion with the disabled person about how the money will be handled and that there will not be money available to pay off new debts so he should not incur any.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • liz

    My 17 yr old rec ssi.. I’m his payee.. If I recieved an inheritance will they punish him? His name his not in the inheritance, just mine.. But he lives with me…

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Liz,

      Your inheritance counts as income in the month that you receive it and will affect your son’s eligibility in that month. If you have more than $2,000 in countable assets ($3,000 if your son’s father or stepfather lives in the household) on the first of the month after you receive the inheritance, the excess will count toward your son’s resource limit of $2,000. If he is over the resource limit, he will not be eligible until his resources decrease to below the limit. Note: if you decide to spend down, check with Social Security to determine how and at what a rate you can spend down and not cause your son’s eligibility to continue to be interrupted after he is below the resource limit again. (When your son turns eighteen, your income and assets will not longer affect his benefits, but beginning then he needs to pay his share of shelter and food expenses or pay fair market for a room and buy his own food to avoid having a reduction.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Harold

    My son gets disability because he’s autistic, my wife is the representative payee. She has an account on my social security website but cannot view his benefit info there? It just says she’s not receiving benefits. How does one view a childs benefit info online?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Harold,

      If your son receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI), he is being paid under his own Social Security number. If it is possible to view SSI accounts with a “my social security” account, which it may not be, she would have to set up an account with his number. On the other hand, if your wife is receiving Social Security and your son is receiving dependent benefits on her account, his benefits should be visible under her account. Ultimately, if she can’t get an account set up that accesses information for your son, she can go to a local office or call 1-800-772-1213 for the information she needs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Katie

    I have a question my brother receives ssi but his payee is my older brothers name. My disabled brother has applied for a assisted living apt and needs proof of his earnings I have tried to make account online but cant. Can he go to a office his self to get proof of his earnings. His older brother will not go with him.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Katie,

      Your brother can go to the office or he can request the benefit statement letter by calling 1-800-772-1213 (expect a long wait), but it will likely be mailed to his payee.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • ramon p

    Hi okay .So my girlfriend is her sister payee but there mom has took the card from my girlfriend . Doing what she wishes with the money she already missed 2payment for the sister braces . My girlfriend is afraid of her mother so is the sister . Even tho my girlfriend doesn’t want to call the cops on her mother. She could can she she is the payee n just cause that’s there mother . The mother is not responsible enough to make the right decision cause she spends the money on the other 2 kids when the sister needs it more its her money… what legal right is the for my girlfriend which is the payee vs her mom.

    Thanks in advance

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ramon,

      Your girlfriend can go to the Social Security Administration and report the theft of the card and request that the card be cancelled and a new one reissued. Then your girlfriend needs to keep the card in some location that her mother cannot find it.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sarah

    I recently applied to be my sons payee for his ssi. It was switched over a year ago to his father because he was taking care of him while I took a job in another city. If my son is now currently living with me and I was still denied bring his payee what proof can I provide or action I can take so that my sons benefits are going to benefit him where he us living . myvson is only four and is not in school yet. I am alsonlead to believe that when switching the payee over last September and that there were false accusations made against me in the process which may be the reason I was also denied what can I do to show that those things are false? Also there is no custody order in place so technically I am his custodial guardian .

    • Inquiring Mother

      I recently applied to be my sons payee for his ssi. I was denied. It was switched over a year ago to his father because he was taking care of him while I took a job in another city. Although my son is now currently living with me and gas been since April I was still denied being his payee what proof can I provide or action I can take so that my sons benefits are going directly him andvwhere he us living . My son is only four and is not in school yet. I am also lead to believe that when switching the payee over last September and that there were false accusations made against me in the process which may be the reason I was also denied what can I do to show that those things are false? Also there is no custody order in place so technically I am his custodial guardian

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Inquiring Mother,

        I answered your questions, which you previously posted under the name of Sarah; so the reply is addressed to Sarah.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • keish

          How do I post ….I have some questions I would love some feedback on…

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Keish,

            Just write your questions the same way you wrote this question.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sarah,

      If there are any third parties who know the accusations are not true, get statements from them. You can also get statements from neighbors and relatives regarding when your son came back to live with you. You cannot appeal who is payee, but you can apply again to be payee and submit the statements, as well as your own.

      If your son’s father continues to be payee, he has the responsibility to give you some money for your son’s food. Also, he has responsibility to purchase his clothes, pay for his childcare while you work and for a reasonable amount of recreation time for you, provide gas for you to take him to medical appointments, pay for laundry, pay for medical and dental check-ups, etc. It would also be reasonable for him to give you some money for entertainment and outings for your son and even some toward shelter costs. If he gives you money for these things, you should give him a receipt from a receipt book that has a carbon copy. That way, you have some proof of the money he has provided for his son. Any of the child’s benefits that are not being spent currently, should be saved for his future use, when his needs as an older child will be greater. If money is withheld and the child’s needs are not met, you can report this to the Social Security Administration.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Chance Gray

      Will my payee receive a check or ATM card,
      My closest payee is 3 hours away

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Chance,

        Ask your payee what has been set up for payment. Usually, ongoing payment is made direct deposit to a bank account or to a DirectExpress debit card. Whether paid by check, direct deposit, or debit card, the payee needs to pay your rent and utilities directly to the landlord and utility companies and pay anything else directly that it is feasible to do. Food and gas or bus money should be given to you in weekly allotments if the payee cannot take you shopping due to the distance.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Dominic

    Hello I just found out that I am approved for SSI but was told I would need a representative payee. Couple questions. I can handle my own expenses and not want a payee so how do I go about stopping this.

    Also if I have a representative payee whose name is the payment made to? The payee? or me?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dominic,

      You can talk with your physician. If the physician agrees that you have the mental ability and the judgement to pay for your basic essential expenses of shelter, food, medical and dental care, personal hygiene items, etc. before spending the benefits for more discretionary items, you can ask your physician to complete a form SSA-787, which can be found online and downloaded or requested from a local Social Security office. Then take the SSA-787 to a local office and appeal the decision to have a payee. If you are required to have a payee, the benefits will be paid in a manner that only the payee can cash the check or to an account that shows the money belongs to you but can be accessed only by the payee. The account title will be “your name by payee’s name, representative payee.” The payee will have to account once a year for the use of your benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Parks

        My daughter was approved for ssi I live with my sister and I was paying rent before i had my premie then i was out a job when i had her so i stop paying rent but now she wants to charge me room and board since I have her ssi income I only receive 488 I’m ready to move back out on my own will they raise it if I want to move out on my own

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Parks,

          If you move into a household that consists of just you and your children and no one outside the household pays any of the shelter or food costs, your daughter’s SSI will be increased to $733 if (note, if) you do not have income that affects her payment amount.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

        • Tiffany Valdez

          HI I HAVE A QUESTION. I am my father’s red payee. He is wondering if he decides to move out with his girlfriend can I still be his red payee and handle his funds for that house hold? He currently has a checking account. When he visits her I put money in that account and he uses his debit card because I prefer less cash on him, as he has had a pill problem for over 20 years that caused severe mental disorder, while they hang out.

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Tiffany,

            If you will live in sufficient proximity to your father if he moves in with his girlfriend to know what his shelter, food, and other basic needs are and can make arrangements to pay for most of them directly, you can continue to be his payee. Keep good records of how the money is spent.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • Dante

    I guess this isn’t really a question on my responsibility as a representative payee, but more about how others handle similar situations.

    My brother (has a metal disability) is currently incarcerated (jail) and serves time roughly every few years. Generally it’s related to his mental illness.

    But every time he’s incarcerated, even if it’s just 30, 60 or 90 days, everything gets suspended. He rents a portion of a house, but when he’s in jail, we end up having to pay for the portion he rents, otherwise, we end up having to move him again and again. How do others handle this type of situation? How do the landlords treat things? What if they don’t have enough money to pay the rest of the rent for the month. Do they just lose the last months rent (assuming they paid 1st and last), do they just forfeit the deposits and how can anyone on Social Security have this happen more than once without digging a big hole?

    I guess the basic question is, how do representatives handle it when the person they are representing goes to jail. How is Rent, Electricity, Water, Lawn Care, etc… handled. Do the reps pay what’s remaining due, and then just break leases, or bail on landlords?

    Another question… I thought I read that if the person we represent lives with us, that the person can’t receive benefits, or the benefits would be greatly reduced. But then I thought read today, that if the person is still paying for rent and food, that it may not be reduced or only reduced by a 1/3. Can I get clarification on this… even though I hate living with him, he may be better off living with me, so I don’t have to maintain a 2nd residence for him.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dante,

      I am sure that representative payees handle differently housing challlenges when there’s suspension of benefits of a person receiving Social Security or SSI who has been incarcerated; though I suspect that many, if not most, do not have the funds to continue to pay the expenses of the vacant apartment or room in order to maintain a residence. If the disabled individual has savings, the savings could be used to pay the rent during the absence if the sentence is short and definite.

      If the person for whom you are payee receives Social Security Disability (SSDI), living with your or someone else will not affect payment amount and living arrangements do not have to be reported (only the address.)

      If the person for whom you are payee receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and lives in your residence and buys his food separately, for example with food stamps, and pays you fair market value (FMV) rent for the room and house privileges or pays you FMV for room and board, or lives in your household (not just in your house) and pays his share of shelter and food, his Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will not be reduced. If he does not pay his share or as a separate household within your household, does not pays FMV for room or room and board, his SSI will be reduced up to, but not exceeding one-third of the maximum federal payment amount, which in 2015 is $733. The maximum reduction results in a payment amount of $488, there no other income than SSI and the in-kind (non-cash) support from the you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Concered Mother

    I am the Representative Payee for my 17 year old daughter who receives survivor benefits. Her father passed away over 12 years ago. She is upset with me for enforcing rules/curfew and is threatening to move out and going to SS to get direct access her benefits. Can she get this done? Would I be notified or have a chance to appeal? If she does in fact move and I am no longer providing care- I understand that I have no right to the benefits, however she has a history of alcohol/drug abuse/Bipolar disorder/Depression. I am afraid that she will gain access or one of her equally unstable friends will be appointed as her payee and the benefits would be used for everything except what it is intended for. Would I have any say in who her payee is if I am removed?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Concerned Mother,

      If your daughter contacts Social Security, it is unlikely, but not impossible that at age seventeen, living on her own, she might be made her own payee. You might not be notified until after the fact. I suggest that you talk to Social Security now before your daughter takes action. Ask to have an annotation put on her record that she is acting out and has a history of alcohol and drug abuse as well as mental illness. Say that if she moves out as she is threatening because you are setting limits, for her well-being you need to remain payee so that you can pay her rent and utilities where she moves to and see that she has food.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kris

    Hello, my husband and I are parents of a 19 year old severely autistic son. I have been appointed his payee for Ssi. He is nonverbal and unable to make decisions regarding healthcare, ect. Is it absolutely necessary to petition for legal guardianship? Can I still make health decisions for him? Or does payee status give me those rights?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kris,

      Being a payee for your son’s SSI benefits only gives you the right to receive his benefits and make financial decisions on how to use the benefits for his care. I suggest that you consult with a family-law attorney or other attorney on how to pursue guardianship or other status to make medical decisions for your son.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • joey

    I will be moving out of section 8 public housing into a house that my daughter bought. I receive approximately 250 in housing supplement and pay approximately 100 out of my SSI check. I understand that my daughter can not provide me with any discounts on my housing needs so my intentions are to pay her $350 until the house she bought and I qualifies for HUD once more. My mother is my rep payee but I don’t really want my daughter to know that part of my business because she will most likely want to take that over. I would like to avoid that emotional issue if possible. Will it be acceptable with SS for my mother to issue a check written to me, memoed rent, and then when I pay my daughter I get a receipt for verification? thank you.

    • joey

      I forgot to mention that the way my daughter would know about my mom being my rep payee is by the info on the check issued if it is payed directly to her. thanks again.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joey,

      The first issue addresses something you did not ask about. In order not to have a reduction in your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit, you must pay fair market value for the space you rent from your daughter. If you are renting a room from her in a house she is living in, fair market value for the room might be $350; however, if you are renting the entire house and you are the only one living there, the fair market rent for an entire house may be more than $350. If it is, you will be receiving in-kind (non-cash) support and maintenance from your daughter, which will reduce your SSI benefit.

      With regard to your question, you could do what you suggest or your mother could buy a money order and you could fill in your daughter’s name and sign it in your mother’s presence. Either way getting a receipt makes good documentation for Social Security.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Janet

    I receive SSDI for mental health disability so if i meet with my primary care doctor and they feel i am capable of being my own payee then is there a chance i could lose my social security benefits. Or is there a way i can be my own payee and still get Benefits.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Janet,

      I suggest that you discuss the matter with your mental health provider to get that person’s opinion about whether you can handle your own benefits to take care of yourself, but are still disabled from working. The doctor could write up a statement regarding why you still can’t work but can be your own payee. That might reduce the risk of triggering a continuing disability review to determine whether you are still mentally disabled.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jan

    I have a questions. We have a friend who is his own payee but receives services through a medicare based company. His family makes his life miserable. Recently, he took money out of his checking account to put aside for a trip and his sister-in-law contacted the care company demanding to know where his money went. They are not his guardian or payee and are constantly nagging him about how he spends his money. Can they do this?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jan,

      There’s probably no way to control your friend’s family; however the care company that is providing services should not give out information to the family without your friend’s permission. Also, I wonder how the family knows about how your friend handles his money. Perhaps there is a way for them not to know so much so they won’t have so many opportunities to express their opinions.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tonya

    I have a question I have two sons that I am the rep payee I also receive SSI benefits for myself I have the boys account setup as me as a rep payee and their name as the owner and beneficiary and I have my own account setup was just my name we all get our Social Security checks deposited and each separate account are the two boys so Security checks and bank accounts deemed as my resources or just my account and money

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tonya,

      Assuming you have the accounts set up with titles that show the money belongs to your children and you just serve as representative payee (for example, “your son’s name by your name, representative payee”), then the children’s accounts are not your assets and do not count toward your $2,000 resource limit for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Ashley

      I was wondering I’m on ssi and my fiancee he is also on ssi and receives some ssd from his father. I was wondering if I become my fiancées rep payee will it affect my ssi that I get?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Ashley,

        Your being a payee for someone else’s benefits should not have any effect on your own benefits because the other person’s benefits are not your money and must be used only for the other person.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • My husband receives disability payment and our son draws off of him. I was selected to be the payee over our child’s money. Can my husband change me from being the payee over our child’s money without it being authorized by me?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kathy,

      The Social Security Administration (SSA) makes the decision about who should serve as payee for your son’s benefits. Your husband could apply to be payee. If he does, SSA will consider the application. If you are removed as payee, you will receive a notification after the change as occurred. You can object and reapply to be payee, but who is appointed payee cannot be formally appealed.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jennifer

    My son receives social security disability benefits from his father. He lived with his father until about a month ago. His father is his payee. When we went back to court and I got custody of our son it was ordered that his father got to keep being our sons payee and getting his checks as long as he opened a savings account and put the check in the account and didn’t touch the money. 1st question: Is it legal for my x to still be the payee if our son no longer lives with him?
    My x is also in jail now and is possibly looking at some serious jail time. So my 2nd question is do I need to go back to court to change the order and become my sons payee?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jennifer,

      The selection of a Social Security representative payee is not governed by a court ruling, it is governed by Social Security regulations. The money being paid for your son is to provide for his current needs of shelter, food, clothing, school supplies and activities, medical and dental care, etc. After all current needs are met, then money should be saved for future needs such as post-secondary education or job training. I suggest that you go to Social Security and apply to be payee. Do take the court order with you to prove that you have custody.

      A second issue is that your ex-husband is not eligible to receive Social Security while he is in jail so you need to report his incarceration. Your son will continue to receive benefits even though his father does not.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Zeeno

    I need to know if you have not been to anyone as in physical therapist doctor to proved that your responseable to menege your own money where can you find the first step? In if someone is on low housing rent already would your they rent go up or what would make that happen?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Zeeno,

      Becoming your own payee will not raise your rent. I suggest that you talk with your primary care doctor to see whether your doctor would make a statement about your capability to manage money. The doctor can make the statement in any form, including on SSA-787, which you can get online or at a Social Security office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Raquel

    A client that I am working with is homeless. The shelter that I work at will not act as a payee. My client has no friends/ family to be her payee and her last payee was the last shelter that she was at. Her doctor has said that he wants her to be in treatment for 6 months before she can be here own payee. I have tried hard but been unable to find an agency that will act as a payee for her! Should I show up at the SS office with her and ask them for help?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Raquel,

      It seems like a good idea to go with your client to Social Security and explain your efforts to try to get a payee lined up for her. Sometimes when no payee can be found, benefits will be paid directly.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Melissa

    I am my adult married daughters payee for her ssd.She has brain damage 6 strokes 3 brain surgeries.she understands things to a point at tome she can’t walk or talk has no skull on left side.I have lived with her and her husband as her Ccaregiver.He is moving with me knowing having a male drunk with a felony to care for her.He is going yo jail for 2 dui in 4 yrs.Can i get poa,guardship over her and how.She does want to leave I know everything about her and all diseases.I stayed e dry minute at bozpiyal nd rehab.I have to mo e cause he hs not payee rent in 3 months which i ding know.Can i have her put in nursing til I get a place for her and myself

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Melissa,

      Please reenter your post. I can’t understand the last half of it because there are too many typographical errors.

      Thank you,
      Kay

  • rhea

    My brother passed away from cancer and my nephew stays with both, us and his mom, we share custody based on a verbal agreement. we discussed the survival benefits that my nephew will get and the mom had agreed she will allow me to become my nephews representative payee. Is there a form or a letter we need to give to SS so that I will be granted to be his representative payee? She just got out of rehab, didn’t stay for the duration she was supposed to but continues to go to AA meetings. We want to secure my nephews future and still provide his needs of course, both with the benefits and out of our own pockets.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rhea,

      You can either take a letter from your nephew’s mother that says she wants you to be payee because she is newly sober and getting her life together. The letter can indicate that you all live together in the same household. Alternatively, she could go to Social Security with you when you apply to be your nephew’s payee and make the statement there.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Faye

    I am payee of another person’s disability money. They used to live with me then they moved out and returned. When they moved, I made sure their bills were taken care of and any and all needs met. I have kept records if everything. I was told that if the person moved out I could no longer be the payee and that I could get into trouble for allowing the person to move out. Is that true?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Faye,

      Many representative payees do not live with the beneficiary. As long as you do as you said, paiy the individuals bills and see that all his or her needs are met and use all the money for that person, you have done your duty as a payee in terms of money handling. If the person receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you must report each time the person moves because living arrangements can affect payment amount.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Cassandra

    Hello,

    Either ex husbands father or sister have POA since he has been in assisted living after a motorcycle accident 3 years ago. I have been receiving disability payments for my 9 year old since this happened in place of child support. His father has all of a sudden started telling me “once he signs the paper he wont receive a thing anymore”. Is this possible? Is there some paper he can sign or some process that would for no reason end my sons payments?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cassandra,

      Benefits for your child should continue as long as your ex-husband receives benefits up until your child turns eighteen. (Benefits can continue to the later of graduation from high school or age nineteen if he is still in school at age eighteen.)

      I do not know what paper your ex-father-in-law is talking about, but maybe he is planning to apply to be payee for your son’s benefits. If you have custody of the child and are using the benefits properly to care for your child, he should not be successful in the attempt.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Travis

    My mom has been my dads payee for the last couple years but she is now in hospice with cancer and only has about 2 week left to live. I will have to take my father when this happens my question is how do I go about switching to make me his payee?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Travis,

      Go to the Social Security Administration now and apply to be your father’s payee. Also inquire as to whether your father will be eligible for widower’s benefits when your mother passes away.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Trineka

        My dad recently has my grandma as his payee. They were in at altercation that lead to police and also him not being able to have contact with my grandma.My father is saying he wants me to be his payee. I am a college student , a parent of twins I currently live in Whitewater. I live in HUD Subsidized Housing, or low income. Is it possible to me to live in whitewater and be my fathers payee while he lives in Milwaukee.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Trineka,

          The drive from Whitewater to Milwaukee is a little over an hour, so you are close enough to serve as your grandfather’s payee if you have transportation to visit and see what he needs are. Being his payee is not just getting the money and giving it to your grandfather. Being payee requires you to pay his housing, utilities, medical co-pays etc. directly to the providers and, if needed, take him to shop for groceries to be sure the grocery money goes for food. You would also pay for his other needs, giving him spending money weekly if money is available after the necessities are paid for. I suggest that you read over the representative payee responsibilities to determine whether meet them.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Lizette

    hi, my name is lizette my question is that my sister has been incarcerated in jail and receiving disability can we be her representative payee until s he comes out.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lizette,

      Your sister or someone on her behalf needs to immediately report to the Social Security Administration that she has been incarcerated because she is not eligible for benefits if she is in jail for thirty days or more.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • linda

    If someone has a legal guardian and payee. Can they put there name on your home.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Linda,

      Being a Social Security or SSI payee does afford the right to take ownership or partial ownership of the beneficiaries property. I don’t think that a guardian has the right either, but you need legal advice from an attorney to be sure.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Angela Wright

    My mom’s payee at Catalyst Life Services has drained ALL my mom’s savings to pay the nursing home, EVEN THOUGH my mom got approved for the Waiver Program from Ohio’s Area Agency on Aging! The Waiver program pays for the nursing home and the assisted living expenses, so the nursing home was already paid for. Her payee did NOT have to pay those expenses!

    Now she is claiming that she will not give any spending money to my mom at all this month. Would this be considered a misuse of funds?! I want to get my mom’s money back since her IDIOT of a payee did NOT have to pay the nursing home fees at all!!!!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Angela,

      Misuse of funds usually means the payee has used the funds for someone other than the beneficiary. Making a mistake and paying the bill when it was not necessary to pay the bill probably would not be misuse.

      First, I would double check that the Waiver Program pays the full bill versus paying the portion that your mother’s income does not cover. It may be that your mother’s Social Security does have to pay part of the bill and that a specified small amount can be retained for personal needs and spending money. If the person has made a mistake and double paid, check with the Waiver Program to see if the money can be refunded. I can’t comment on the spending money issue because I don’t know the reason your mother isn’t getting spending money–my guess is that payee failed to retain some money for that purpose, another mistake. You can, if you wish, apply to be payee for your mother instead of the agency.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • jaz

    My mom is currently the payee of my son while he was in her custody. My mom is ill and now Im getting my son back. The thing is, I am homeless . I’m in the process of looking for a shelter for me and my two children. I have to switch his benefits in my name as his payee. He is receiving 462.00 a month. If I switch it over in my name, would this negatively impact his benefits seeing I have no income other than food stamps and 318 in cash from public aid for my daughter.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jaz,

      Based on the information you have provided, I would not expect your son’s income to decrease. Report the change right away to see if there will be an increase.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • joyce

    Hello I am my son’s representative payee since he was a child (he has PDD which is a form of autism) he is now 22 yrs old and I have been teaching him bill paying by having him write checks for monthly bills that are in his name basically teaching him life skills so when I pass he can take care of his own monies because i’m afraid of him being ripped off by another representative. My question is if I have him be his own payee will SSI cut him off? He can’t work and no ones going to hire him because he lacks social skills and acts different.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joyce,

      Given how you describe your son’s disability, having him be his own payee will not necessarily cause his benefits to stop; however, being one’s own payee requires more skills than writing a check. He needs to be able to track what is due to be paid and when, make purchases for himself, and make judgments about expenditures, prioritizing shelter and food above other expenditures. It might be useful to have him take over all decision making and other tasks you fiduciary tasks you perform him for period of several months or a year while you are still his payee, to see how it goes before changing the payee.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Susie

    Hi, I have a daughter who is about to be 2 years old & Who is disabled. I signed up for direct express, But my question is, As her representative payee, in order tk activate the direct express card would i use my social or her social if im her representative?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Susie,

      You would use your daughter’s Social Security number because her claim number is her Social Security number.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Melissa Jones

    my husband and I are 16 days away from finalizing our divorce. Our daughter currently gets benefits based on his disability. Due to the amount she gets he will not have to pay child support. Until now he has been happy to give her the money he receives from SSD in her name. I use the money for her care and to pay for her private school which she was enrolled in before the divorce. He knows that I have set up an account in her name with me also on the account. Now he is demanding to see the bank statements for this account. I feel he has no business seeing an account which he is not on. Also he has stated he will take me to court to tell the judge that I would not allow him to see the account. Does he have the right to see this Account. Once the divorce is over I will be her primary caregiver and can get changed to her representative. I think this is just another way for him to accert control in our lives. Thanks for any information. Her accounting to SSD has already been filed for this year so I will be the one filling it out next year so his claim that he has to see the account to report to SSD is not true.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Melissa,

      Once you are made payee, your soon-to-be-ex husband will have no right to know about the use of the money. As long as he is payee, he has a responsibility to know how the money is spent. If you put only her money in the account, you will be revealing only her finances. I suggest that you apply to be payee now as it will time to get things changed over. Once you get the payee approval letter, take it to the bank and set up an account that is titled “your daughter’s name by your name, representative payee.” That shows the money belongs to your daughter and only you have access.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lee Jackson

    I am Representative Payee and Conservator for my brother who has been hospitalized for most of his life with mental illness. I live a couple thousand miles from him so I am unable to visit other than once a year.
    My sisters live about 200 miles from the hospital and per my mother’s wishes prior to her passing visit my brother about once a month in order to bring him new clothes and buy him lunch.

    For their most recent trip they have requested that I reimburse them for the mileage incurred by the trip and for the meals that the ate during that time which considered the day long nature of the excursion amounted to breakfast and dinner.

    Am I permitted to pay them these reimbursements out of my brother’s disability funds? If so what is the allowable limit and how should the reimbursement be determined?

    They have indicated that the day long excursion incurs wear and tear on their vehicle as well as time, effort, and unnecessary restaurant expense. They have also suggested that if they would not receive any reimbursement that they might consider not going on a monthly basis and only limiting their visits to yearly such as I have to do. These are the only visitors my brother receives.

    Another question is that my brother wants us to use a portion of his funds for CD recordings that he wants us to order. Is this deemed acceptable and are there any limitations on how much we can spend on entertainment such as this?

    Thank you
    Lee

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lee,

      My response is related to your role as representative payee for your brother’s Social Security benefits; for conservator guidelines, you will have to check with the appropriate legal authority.

      If your brother’s shelter, food, clothing (presumably, you are reimbursing clothing purchases), medical, dental, and personal hygiene care is being taken care of and some amount is being saved for irregular expenses such as dental and medical, then it is appropriate to spend money for entertainment and social contact for your brother. As such, it would be reasonable to purchase some CDs and pay any extra costs for activities arranged by the institution. It would also be reasonable to reimburse his sisters for at least some of the cost of their visits–lunch out with your brother and gas certainly seem reasonable. It seems that they could eat breakfast at home before they left. They may need to eat dinner out, depending on how long they stay with your brother. If they really can’t afford a dinner out once a month (going into debt for it, for example), you might consider covering that as well. Another consideration in making the decision, is do you reimburse yourself for the cost of the trip to see your brother?

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • vicky

    I receive ssd and I am the payee for my daughter who is 5. Is her money considered part of my household income.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Vicky,

      Whether or not your daughter’s benefits are considered part of your household income depends on the context. Are you asking about taxes? Benefits from social service agencies? Your responsibilities as her representative payee.

      If you are inquiring about taxes or other benefits, please contact the IRS or the social service agency. If you are inquiring related to your duties as representative payee, I can provide some guidance. The first use of your child’s benefits should be for housing and food if the money is needed for those things. It can also be used for clothing, medical and dental care, school fees and activities, and if possible, entertainment, toys, and a small allowance. Any left over can be saved for future needs and education. The money should not be used for items that are personal to other members of the family.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Rita

        My disable daughter receives SSI. I am the rep payee. Who should the rent/food check be endorsed to?

        Is it o.k. to make the check payable to me out of her checking account? What receipts should I keep to prove that it is going to the house payment and food?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Rita,

          Yes, you can write yourself a check from your child’s SSI bank account. Keep your rental agreement or lease and utility bills. You can also keep your grocery receipts. Keep receipts for clothing, school supplies, medical co-pays, etc. that you pay for daughter.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sincerely

  • Robin

    Hello,
    I have been POA for my father-in-law for the last 2 years. I have been the POA for the Health Care Directives for both my in laws for 5 years. mother-in-law passed away in 2012. I still continue to represent my father-in-law as his POA with his Health Care directives. None of his children want to do this for him. My husband helped me until he passed away also in 2012. Recently I needed to consult with Medicare and Social Security about his financial and medical issues. Despite filling out multiple forms provided to me by both Medicare and Social Security, signed by my father-in-law and filed with both agencies in quadruplicate to be his authorized representatives, these agencies claim the documents are not on file and they can’t talk to me. I was told I would have to be named his representative payee because SS doesn’t recognize POA. My sister-in-law told me I should not have agreed to be Representative Payee because when her father passes away I can be held financially responsible for paying his left over debts from my own finances if he doesn’t have any money left. This being the reason she would not be the Representative Payee for her own father.
    If I have handled his finances as Representative Payee to the letter of the law and all SS rules and regulations can I be held financially responsible for his remaining debts after his death?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Robin,

      Being representative payee for your father-in-law’s Social Security benefits does not make you liable for his debts, other than to use whatever funds he has left at the time of his death to pay his final expenses and debts as far as the money goes. Typically, individuals have representative payee’s only if they are incapable of directing the use of their benefits. If this is the case, ask your father-in-law’s physician to complete an SSA-787 form for you to present when you apply to be payee. If your father-in-law is capable, he could sign an SSA-1696 to designate you as his representative. When it is given to Social Security, you could ask to have it date stamped and a copy of the date-stamped authorization returned to you. That way you could present the date-stamped copy every time you conduct business for him.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Yulonda

    I’ve been my son’s payee since he was approved for SSI beaucse I’m his sole, legal and physical guardian. Just recently, he moved with his father in another State, 700 miles away. He’s been with him for 2 months, BUT will be back home when school gets out (MId June) due to my son NOT doing well in school and continuously complaning about the envirnoment in which he now lives in. My queston is: (because SSA informed me his father will be the payee begin May) can I remain his payee OR can the money be put in escrow until he arrives back in my home? I don’t trust his father’s spending habits or judgements which is why he’ll be back some as soon as school is out. My son just turned 16 in March.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Yulonda,

      Contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) immediately and tell them that your son will be moving back home in the month that he gets out of school and apply to be made his payee affective with the following month. If that is July, contact Social Security about June 5 to be sure that the payee has been changed for July. Alternatively, you might be able to convince SSA not to change the payee at all, pledging to the money to his father for May and the part of June your son remains in school and with him (assuming that month is June.) If you do this, be sure to get a signed receipt from his father for monies you give him.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • lesa

    If I receive ssi payment for my child and my sister has my child Temporally and start receiving the check in her name now my mother-in-law has her temporary can she put the check back in my name…

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lesa,

      When your child moves back into your care, you can apply to be your child’s payee again at that time.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • renny

    My son’s mother was his representative payee,she passed away 6 months ago the card was in her name,he has been living with me since her death but I never had the name on the card changed could I get in trouble for this? What should I do at this point?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Renny,

      Yes, you could get in trouble for using a debit card issued in someone else’s name. The thing you should do right away is to report your son’s mother’s death to Social Security; apply to be payee for your son; and, when you go to the Social Security office to do this, take with you a written accounting of how you have used your son’s money for each month since his payee died. Take as many receipts as you have to document expenses paid for your son.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • tiffany

    Hello,
    I’m extremely confused. I have two questions the first question is, am I allowed to be the representative payee for my son and boyfriend? My second question is we just moved from Florida to Georgia will the ssi amounts increase or decrease?
    a

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tiffany,

      You can serve as representative payee for two different people. You need to keep their funds separate. The federal SSI payment is calculated the same in Florida and Georgia. Your federal SSI payment will stay the same if your living arrangements (who lives in the household and who pays the shelter and food costs) stays the same. The two states may, however, have differences in their state SSI supplement programs. If you haven’t already, you need to report your son’s and your boyfriend’s new address as soon as possible.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • lezah samson

    hi im a single parent and i have a 4yrs old autism and recently got approved from social security.. my question is what if i lose some of the receipts can i use the bank statement of my son to documented all the transaction? coz early this morning i brought him medicine for his cough and the cashier give me a wrong receipt i dont know what happen..i cant go back to the store coz i need to drop him off at the school

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lezah,

      The occasional missing receipt will not be a problem in making your representative payee report, especially if it is for a routine relatively small purchase such as for medication. The bank statement will be fine. (Incidentally, if your child is receiving disability benefits, he is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) not Social Security.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • lezah samson

        hi kay thank u for ur answer..i have another questions.. because me and my bf has a joint account are they gonna check it too? but my son has his own account for his ssi.. and the reason why me and my bf got a joint account is because i have another daughter ..my son and my daughter have a differents daddys.. is it gonna affect my sons benefit from ssi??? thank u in advance kay have a blessed easter ☺️

        • lezah samson

          and i live with my mom she is the only one who works and ssi knows about it..but our apartment cost went high from 1,500 to 1,750 per month do u think my son can pay the $250? i ask the manager if he can issue me a receipt or proof that my son contribute for paying rent.. food is not a problem coz we have foodstamp …

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Lezah,

            As I indicated in my earlier response, it is okay to use some of your son’s SSI income to pay part of the rent.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Lezah,

          The account does affect your son’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because your income and resources (assets) are considered in calculating his benefit. When your son’s claim is redetermined annually, you will be asked to declare all bank accounts on which you have your name. Not to declare the account in order for your son to keep getting benefits would be fraud. As I indicated in my other response, probably your best course is to report the account and get your name off it and get everything straightened out as soon as possible.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • lezah samsona

            they actually know that i have another acount which is the joint account with my bf and i was worried too because we got our income tax at the same account is it gonna be affect too because my bf got 4,300 and i got 3,400… are they gonna count the income tax as income too? thank u for ur answer i really appreciated

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Lezah,

              The income tax refund you received is your money returning to you so it will not count as income because it was counted as part of your gross earnings when you were originally paid. Your boyfriend’s tax refund is not your money coming back to you so the deposit is likely to count as income to you.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Shawnee

    Hello- I am a representative payee for two minor disabled children. Because I am a payee, can that stop me from applying for a mortgage or bank account that is completely independent of their benefits?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shawnee,

      Your being a representative payee does not keep you from having your own bank account or from purchasing a house. Just do not comingle funds and keep good records for the use of the children’s money.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Gavin

    Hello my name is Gavin and I got approved social security disability through the help of my mother, who has been appointed to be my representative payee. Right now we live in Michigan, but in a few months I want to move out of state to move onto bigger and better things. Will my mother still be my payee or will I have to have a new payee because I moved out of state? Also, if I move out of state will social security reopen my case to see if I’m still disabled because I would be living alone without support, as opposed to my current living arrangement with my mother? I am not a minor

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Gavin,

      Moving will not trigger a disability review. You will have to have a payee after you move unless you can successfully apply to be your own payee. I suggest that you discuss your capacity to make decisions to reliably pay for your basic needs of food, shelter, and medical. If your physician agrees you can, then the physician’s statement could be helpful to your application to receive your benefit directly. Occasionally, applying to be one’s own payee can trigger a disability review, but not always.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Judy Kanary

    I need your advise. I don’t know if you got my first question that I asked I do not see it on your site. So I will ask again. My sister who is a Jehovah Witness is really strict with SS Check. After all my bills are paid I have $280.00 left over. She gives me a check each week for $70.00. That is to buy groceries and for spending money. I had to have her call SS because she was going and buying my groceries and bringing them to me. I told her I would like to buy my own groceries. I am very capable. She finally found out she can let me buy them myself. My question is she wants me to all receipts for the grocery money and spending money. She said it is not her asking for them it is Social Security. I am 63 years old I want to have a little privacy. I am not an alcoholic are drug addict. I have read some of the answers on here and I can’t find anything about it being required. Am I required to give her receipts for everything I buy. I worked hard all my life just because I am disabled does not mean I am a little Kid. I want to be a little independent. But she goes buy the book. I don’t blame her but it is only 280.00 not a 1000.00. I just think she has gone to far with this. Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Judy,

      Please see my reply which is posted with your original question under the article where you posted it, which is “Do I have to have a representative payee for my Social Security Disability payments?”

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Candice

    Good evening,

    My minor son lived with my ex husband for a couple years. My son received Disability benefits for ASD. My ex did not work, and used all my sons money for rent and utilities, he so received food stamps. He did not save one dime for my son or my sons future. I provided clothing and school supplies, etc for my son as well as groceries for my son when they would run out of food. Was it legal for my ex to use all of my sons benefits to pay 100% of the bills? I just don’t believe that was right, I feel some of that money should have bee saved for my sons future education, etc… My son has been back with me for a couple years, however my ex still collected his checks for a few months after my son came to live with me. Once I went to social security and advised them I had my son, my child’s benefits stopped because my current husband and I make too much money. please clarify if my child’s check was to pay for all of the expenses (rent , utilities, etc) or should his father have been paying half of the bills also.
    Very curious ️about this answer cause I don’t think that is right or legal. Thank you in advance

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Candice,

      There’s no simple answer to your question. Ideally, your son’s father would have been working and paying part of the household expenses so that perhaps some money could have covered a broader range of current needs or been set back for future needs. However, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits paid for your son were intended for your child’s current needs first. If the parent in the household has no income, the benefits are needed provide first for your child’s shelter (rent and utilities) and food, so as a matter of practical course, if the custodial parent has no income, the child ends up supporting the parent.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Justin

    Hey im justin watson and how come they always be late give my spending money to me and they never told me how much money i get a month and how much i spend when i call they say stop calling us i dont know how i was on dis when i was in jail they send a letter to me saying that i will have a payee witout a doctor saying that i cant

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Justin,

      Part of the medical review that resulted in a decision that you are disabled included a medical opinion that you need assistance to use your benefits to pay for your basic needs such as your housing, food, medical care, personal care item, etc. before using the benefits for spending money.

      If you believe you do not need that help, I suggest that you talk with your doctor. If your doctor agrees you don’t need a payee, you could have the doctor complete form SSA-780, which you can get off the Social Security website at http://www.ssa.gov. The doctor’s statement might be help you to receive the benefits directly. In the meantime, perhaps you can have a discussion with your payee and reach an agreement about the day of the month by which you will receive your spending money.

      It is correct that you were not eligible for disability benefits while you were in jail. If you think that your payee received money for you while you were in jail, you should report to the Social Security Administration.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Nicole

    Hello again….
    I am seeking more advice in my brothers case. His payee sent him to live the payee’s son. My brother paid his rent and the guy ran off to Las Vegas only to call my brother and tell him he has 3 days to get out because the family was being evicted for being behind 3 months on rent. Now my brother has no money, no place to stay and the payee is now telling him he has a week to find a new payee. I live in California and he lives in Utah, I do not know how to help being so far away… Is what their doing illegal? Should I try to gain power of attorney of my brother? He doesn’t want to leave his girlfriend behind to come here……

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nicole,

      I can’t really say what you should do about the situation in general. You may need legal advice. In the short run, you and your brother need to have the payments stopped till a payee can be established so that the money does not go to the former payee. Usually Social Security will not appoint a payee in a different state, but given the circumstances, they might make you payee temporarily. It will be helpful if you and your brother both make statements in separate states about what happened and try to get the payee to formally resign. What you do regarding his benefits in the future will depend on where your brother continues to live and/or whether you can establish a guardianship or conservatorship for your brother, both of which requires court order. (Power of attorney does not require a court order, but your brother has to grant you power of attorney.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • lili nealon

    Hi there. My mom has Alzheimer’s and resides in a nursing home in Argentina. She receives her Social Security benefits in the US in a joint account with my sister. I am now being told that she needs a representative payee WHO IS A RESIDENT of Argentina – which could be me, but that the same payee has to have the account into which to deposit the SS checks. But, how can I open a joint account when my mom cannot sign anything? I have spoken with some banks and they need all kinds of legal US stuff but the fact is that my mom is here in Argentina. What to do?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lili,

      Your mother’s benefits should not be paid into a joint account. They should be paid into an account that shows she is the owner of the money in the account and you, as representative payee, have control of the account. This is done by opening an account with the title “your mother’s name by your name, representative payee.” Most banks in the U.S. will open an account with that title when a letter from the Social Security Administration is presented that shows that checks are being issued to you for your mother.

      So the first thing that has to happen is for you to file an application to be payee and be selected as payee. Both you and your mother would then get a letter saying this has occurred. You can take that letter to the bank to get the account set up. If Social Security says they can’t issue the payment outside the U.S. until the account is set up, then ask them to make you payee and temporarily suspend the payments till the account is set up. If they can’t do that, then ask for a letter saying you are being appointed payee and take that to the bank.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Help
    Need advice as I am getting different answers depending on who I talk to at ssd
    My adult disabled son gets SSI and ssd. My husband is also disabled. I was just recently approved for ssd. During my wait period I was getting spousal benefits to help take care of our son. I just received my back pay, but because I was getting spousal benefits during the wait period, ssd deducted 8k of my back pay and gave it to my son. They took back the ssi he was getting during that time and replaced it with ssd benefits. So now, there is 8k in his rep payee acct and I have to spend down his money so he continues to be eligible for his benefits. We are in desperate need of household appliances. The house is 21 years old and needs a new furnace, air , water heater and roof. I was planning on spending the 8k that I was to have received on these items, but the money went to my son. So, my question is, can. The. 8k that was put in his acct be used for these items, or can I only use one third of the 8k for these items since he is one third of the household. Ps. During my waiting period we had to borrow money just to keep the house payment paid, so now I have to pay this money back as well.
    Help.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jean,

      First, your son’s Social Security benefits will continue whether you spend down or not. Only SSI has a $2,000 resource limit. He has nine months to spend down the Social Security back pay before it counts as a resource for SSI.

      One way that could make things simpler would be to put his name on the deed to the house. That way money spent for the needed repairs would be spent on his own property and I wouldn’t think it would come into question. Note that, if you do this, the month you put his name on the property with yours, he will probably be ineligible for SSI that month because of the value of his share in the property would be counted as income. A home he owns and lives in does not count as a resource.

      If you do not put his name on the property and you expect him to continue to live with you indefinitely, you might be able to make a case for using the money for the full cost of the re-roofing and a hot water heater because one-third of a water heater will not make hot water and one-third of a roof doesn’t keep a house dry, I think you could argue that it is reasonable to use the money for those purposes. If the furnace is still working then perhaps it would not be reasonable to use the money for a new furnace or air conditioning in any event unless you live in an area that has extreme heat.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • tracy adams

    My husband of 20yrs was just placed in a nursing facility and receives a disability check and i am the representative payee.will yhe checks stop? This is our only income..

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tracy,

      If your husband receives Social Security Disability (SSDI), his benefit will not stop because he is in a nursing home. If he is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid is paying for more than half the nursing home bill, his SSI benefit will be reduced to $30 monthly. If he is getting SSI and Medicaid is paying the bill, you need to report the change as soon as possible and use only $30 of any monthly benefits received after he entered the nursing home and return the rest.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • If you have a payee an she your payee an someone else does both benefits come to one card?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jasmine,

      Each person’s benefits are paid separately.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • ramona tapia

    Hi i had a question regarding my husbands disability. He is 26 years old he can handle money perfectly fine im just wondering does he still need a payee if he can handle his own money and he isnt physically impaired.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ramona,

      When your husband was approved apparently it was judged that your husband’s mental illness affected his judgment in the use of money. If you and he think that he is mentally capable of handling his funds, he can discuss that matter with his psychiatrist. If the psychiatrist agrees, then ask him or her to complete an SSA-787 form, which you can download from the Internet by searching the form name. If your husband is still disabled from working, it would be good for the doctor to make that statement also.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Joe

    I need help! my wife is my payee and we are divorcing, although she says she will still be my payee short term I have no one to help me. Social Security is refusing to let an out of state family member do it. I have already started to sell or give away all my stuff and feel like I am gonna end up on the streets. does soc sec enjoy tormenting people with mental health issues???

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joe,

      Talk with your psychiatrist or other mental health provider and, if he believes that you are capable of consistently using your benefits to pay for rent, utilities and food before anything else, then ask him to complete form SSA-787, which you can get by searching SSA-787 on the Internet. Ask him to indicate that although you are capable of paying for your basic needs and managing your funds that your inability to work has not changed, assuming this is true. Then go to Social Security with the SSA-787 and apply to be your own payee.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sam H

    so I can’t get garnish or sued for his debt as long as I don’t sign anything. I my have to call social security and tell them I can’t be his payee anymore, we can not find any organizational payee’s what the best thing to do. I have got to get him out my house cause he lost his common sense about everything. me and wife can not take anymore we want a life. he thinks 1156.00 a million dollars. any agencies that could HELP ME!!! I can throw him out can’t I p.s. he does have own truck. the ins. is in my name always has been since he was age 16.he just got his license back he had lost them for dui in 2013.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sam,

      I am not an attorney so I can only give you my opinion, but I don’t think you can be liable for a loan that another adult took out. I suggest talking to Social Security to find out whether they can suggest an organizational payee in your area. Another alternative is to take your son off your car insurance and purchase a separate policy for him in his name, which would protect you financially against raised premiums if your son has an accident; resign as payee and request that if no other payee is available that the benefits be paid directly to your son. Then you could ask your son to move out and rent elsewhere.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sam H

    but it says on social security web site no money can be deposited in a social security bank account from outside sources included me the payee to be mixed with that disability money

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sam,

      If your son gets a loan, he needs to deposit it in some other account, not in the representative payee account that you control.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Sam H

        if does get loans and new credit cards , he don’t draw enough money to pay them ,am I suppose to pay new debts with his funds. he already runs out funds as it is. when he runs out I have to feed him and buy his smokes. my wife and I are on disability to. am I legally suppose to pay everything all bills even thou he don’t have enough money. we will cause us all to be homeless. how can I stop this. I am afraid I will be in trouble with social security. he demanding to let other finance places to deposit loan money in social security account .we are not suppose to do that are we

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Sam,

          No, you do not have to make the payment on the loans. Even prior existing debts should not be paid before current needs are met. You are supposed to pay for his food and housing, transportation (bus tickets), medical and dental care, hygiene items, clothing before anything else. You should be paying for these things directly and not giving him cash beyond the amount that is left after all these needs are met. Then it should probably be given to him weekly. (If he lives with you, the maximum that can be used for housing and food is his share. For example, for a three-person household, his share would be one-third.) You might get a representative payee duties pamphlet and give him a copy of it, saying that you have to follow the law in the use of benefits.

          You can change banks or accounts for the deposit of his benefits and fill out forms for Social Security to change the direct deposit to the new bank and not tell your son where his benefits are being deposited. If you do this, be sure to keep the old account open until the benefit is deposited to the new account.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Sam H

    my son 32 years old and has live with us all his life, is on disability I am his payee, he is dual bipolar. he lives with us he has a lot of credit card bills and 1 loan total over 10,000 dollars. now he wants to take out 2 more loans for 10,000 total to pay 3 or 4 thousand to pay 2 credit cards off but keep cards to keep using. he already paying 1/2 his check in min. payments. I am I suppose to let him do it or is they a disability law says he can’t. me and wife are both on disability. but he wants take rest of the new loans to move 400 miles on his own to buy a boat to live on. what do I do I am his payee. PLEASE help I need legal answers OUICK he his very demanding.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sam,

      I cannot really tell you what you should do and am not an attorney so I can’t give you legal advice. I can say that there is no law against taking out a loan while receiving disability benefits; however, you are your son’s payee because his mental disability raises the question of his from having the judgment to take care of himself. You cannot prevent him from applying for a loan, but that does not mean you should co-sign it and put yourself at risk. I would note that your son may apply for a loan and be unable to get a loan because his debt-to-income ratio is too high or because the proof of income he has to provide for the loan will show that his benefit is being paid to another party, raising the question of financial competence.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Linda Lee

    My daughters father receives social security disability. For the last 6 years, he lied to social security about my daughter living with him in order to receive her child’s entitlement benefit, he collected her money as the representative payee but never gave her any money. Recently I went to social security and found out and changed it over to me as the representative payee. As a result, he is now under investigation with OIG for defrauding social security. My daughter is now 15 yrs old and has decided she wants to live with her father whom she’s never lived with before. My question is, will social security change him to representative payee once she lives with him despite he is currently under investigation for defrauding them as her representative payee? He put himself as the representative payee when she was living with me all along. I live 3 hours away from him and I showed social security proof that the child was enrolled in school with me for the last 6 years. Which they’ve used as evidence to build their case against him.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Linda,

      It is possible that your daughter’s father will not be made payee. You can go to Social Security and ask to continue to be payee. If you do so, take with you a spending plan for the money–how much you will give her father for housing and food, how much you will give to her directly for spending money and school lunches, and how much you will retain control over to take her shopping for clothing, personal care items, etc., that can be purchased when she is visiting you, which I assume she will. Make payments to her father by check and set up with the bank to get copies of the checks. Get a little receipt book and have your daughter sign a receipt for the money you give her and, of course, also keep receipts for things you purchase directly.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Nicole

    My son is 4 and just got approved for SSI. I am his rep payee and don’t understand how it works. Do I have to open a special account to put the checks in or can I cash them and deposit the cash into his father’s bank account? He pays for everything in the household out of his personal account right now and it is much easier than opening another account. Can I use some of the money towards our rent and utility bills?

    • Nicole

      I should also add that since my son is disabled, it makes me unable to work. We are a one income family with more going out than coming in that is why I was asking if I can use that money towards rent and utilities. thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nicole,

      Appropriate uses of your son’s benefits include paying part of the housing and food costs as well as paying for your child’s personal needs such as clothing and any special needs. You may want to save some in case he has greater needs in the future. The money should be paid to a separate account titled, “your son’s name by your name, representative payee. You could then transfer a flat amount each month into your son’s father’s account for food and housing costs. Other needs of your child should be paid from the child’s account. When saving, keep in mind your child’s resource limit is $2,000.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • B.mcguire

    Hi. I am on SSD. I am the representative payee for my daughter who is 15. She receives $650 monthly. I would like to know what are some legitimate uses of her benefits each month etc ? Food, what is included in shelter (am I wrong to include rent) expenses.. Medical care & bills that are not covered by her dads insurance, clothing .. Can I include entertainment, renovation or remodeling of her room, lunch for school, … Toilettries, hair products.. ?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear B.,

      You can use your daughter’s benefits for all the things you mentioned; however, you should not use her money to pay more than her share of the shelter and food costs. If money is left over, it can be saved for post-secondary education or job training or any future unexpected expenses she might have.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • pennywhite58

    I have a payee and i am getting back pay for disability the money i get from back pay do she show receipts for that or when my monthly payments start

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Penny,

      All of your benefits, including your back pay is to be used for you or saved for your future needs. Your payee needs to keep receipts for everything. If she gives you some spending money, you should give her a receipt for it so she can track that too.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • D S HARRIS

    I JUST RECEIVED AWARD LETTERS FOR MY THREE CHILDREN IT SHOWS THE RETROACTIVE PAYMENT AMOUNT FOR EACH, WHICH IS A LARGE AMOUNT. MY QUESTION IS HOW IS THIS MONEY SUPPOSE TO BE SPENT ON MINOR CHILDREN????? IM THE DISABLED PARENT. AND WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT I CAN HAVE IN THE BANK FOR EACH OF THEM.????

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear D.S.,

      First, the money should be spent for housing, food, clothing, school expenses, medical, dental, eye care, transportation. After that, whatever is an appropriate and possible amount for entertainment and allowances or other things such as music or dance lessons or sports activities. You can save any amount that you want for them; for example, you could save up for post-secondary education or job training or for the time that they are older and uses for their money might increase.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kelly

    I am on SSDI and am unable to afford basic housing expenses so have been living with friends for almost a year now. My son is active duty military and would like to establish me as a secondary dependent so that I can come and live on base with him. The problem I am running into is that we have to show proof of support for a period of time for over half of my living expenses and based on that alone we wouldn’t qualify because even if he gave me $500 a month it wouldn’t cover housing & utilities where I live. So, I am thinking about giving him legal guardianship of me and making him my rep payee. My question is that once he becomes my representative payee – is my income now considered his income and he pays my expenses? I’m wondering how that looks on paper. We are in a desperate situation and while moving in with my son was never the plan – it would be a life saver due to my very small income. Any advice or suggestions?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kelly,

      If your son becomes your payee, your benefits are still your income. He would set up a bank account to receive the payments with a title “your name by his name, representative payee.” The account would have your Social Security number on it and the money would belong to you but he would be the only one with access to the account. He would have to report annually to show he used your money for your support.

      You did not ask this question, but I want to comment that if you are in fact receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) and not Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your moving in with your son will not affect the amount of your benefits. If you receive SSI and get support from him in the form of free or subsidized housing, either where you are now or in his home, your SSI payment will go down.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Martin

    Hi Kay, firstly, many thanks for your hugely informative website and the obvious time and effort you put into answering questions here.

    A family relative has recently been awarded SS disability but needs a Payee (per psychiatrist / court determination) for the back pay owed (and presumably future payments, though s/he current receives the monthly check directly). After family discussion and agreement by the relative, I’ve agreed to do be the payee.

    I’m at a loss on how to proceed, despite much reading of the SS website. A 2 hour hold then talking to SS got me through to someone who couldn’t offer much advice past “go to your local SS office”. But when I go, I’d like to go with any paperwork needed so I can avoid multiple trips. Also, I’ve read online that “SS will decide who the payee is”, and my relative has not been asked to nominate someone. Note that I live in a different state (~500 miles away), in case that matters.

    Do I really just walk in off the street and suggest that I be their payee and then SS says “sure”? (Fwiw, I do have a job & secure situation and doubt that there will be any issue with me per se being a payee, from what I’ve read anyway).

    I also tried to open a local payee bank account, as suggested on the SS website. The bank says I need a letter first, but the mostly clueless SS phone rep said when quizzed about being prepared “Get the bank account setup before you go in”). Catch-22, or the rep having a bad day, or is the credit union misinformed?

    My step was going to be to try and call my relative’s local SS office directly and talk to them. I’m guessing they might be handling finding the payee and would welcome a call, but again, I’m pretty clueless about this!

    Thanks in advance for any details or suggestions you can provide. And, again, many thanks for the time and care you provide elsewhere all over this site.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Martin,

      Typically the Social Security Administration would not appoint a person payee who lives 500 miles from the beneficiary because the payee is supposed to pay the beneficiary’s bills and buy the things that he needs, such as clothing, medical co-pays, transportation, etc. which requires being aware of the individuals needs. That said, you can go into your local office and complete payee application papers.You will need your relative’s Social Security number and it could be helpful to have a letter from him saying he wants you to be payee. If you have a plan on how you can meet your relative’s needs at such a distance and are approved to be payee, then take the payee appointment papers to the bank and open a bank account with the title “beneficiary name by your name, representative payee.” Once that is done, you can then give the bank account information to Social Security to set up direct deposit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Mark

    I was recently given a Fully Favorable decision at the hearing level for SSDI. My question is if I have two children ages 2 and 11 do they also qualify for benefits? My estimated disability benefit according to my most recent earnings before applying was around $1327.00, with a maximum family contribution of around $2500. How much should I expect each of my children to receive? My youngest child lives with me in my home full-time and my oldest lives in another state with her mom, but I send her money each month for support. There is no child support order in place because it is shared custody, my oldest daughter comes to live with me whenever she is out of school. What would be the best way to setup the representative payee? I assume because my oldest daughter spends much of her time out of the state that I wouldn’t be eligible to act as her representative payee.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mark,

      Your children will receive approximately $586 each. Probably the best solution would be for your oldest daughter’s mother to file to be payee for the child in her care and for mother to give you the money for summer months that she is with you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kay Derochie

    Dear Christine,

    Please see my response to your previous question. You need a lawyer to help you with the guardianship issue if you want to go to court and get the order vacated. If you are now getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI), in most states you are also eligible for Medicaid. Adopted children are treated under Social Security law the same as a natural child. When you turn age eighteen, you must either be still in high school for Social Security dependent benefits or disabled to get Social Security or SSI benefits. I am not knowledgeable about other possible sources of income for adult adopted children.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Kay Derochie

    Dear Christine,

    Your father should be receiving money from your guardian to cover your rent (and food if you are not getting food stamps or money from the guardian for your food.) One option could be for your father to apply to be your payee. Social Security is not bound by guardianship in who they pay benefits to. Your father can back you up about your mother not paying for your housing and any other needs that are not being me.

    If you file to be your own payee, it is possible that the Social Security Administration would initiate a continuing disability review to see if you are still disabled. If your physical condition keeps you from working, then recovery or partial recovery from your mental health problems would not affect your eligibility. Social Security will not be concerned with your religious faith.

    If you receive Social Security benefits, your moving into your own apartment will not negatively affect benefits if you continue to be disabled. If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and begin to live alone or live with someone else, your benefit will stay the same (or go up if it is now reduced for living arrangements) provided you pay all the housing costs yourself or share equally with a roommate.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Bonnie

    I am the representative payee for my husband’s disability account of $691.00 per month. He receives disability because he is mentally ill and incapable of managing his own financial affairs. Through disability vocational rehabilitation he was approved for school which disability pays 100% of the costs including all material needs. Unknown to me he went to the financial aid office at the school and applied for and received federal student aid loans on two separate occasions for over $20,000. He has deposited these funds in a bank account I do not have access to or even know where it is. What recourse do I have? He has no intention of paying this money back and as his wife I certainly don’t want to be financially responsible for it. How can social security deem him incapable of managing $691.00 a month, and at the same time let him borrow thousands of dollars without my involvement?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bonnie,

      The Social Security Administration and whatever entity lent him the money does not exchange information for loan applications such as having a representative payees. The only information that they would have information from Social Security would be if your husband authorized verification of the amount of benefits he was receiving. If you husband defaults on the loans and he is receiving Social Security Disability, his future benefits, including retirement benefits, will be garnished. If he receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI), benefits will not be garnished. You will have to consult with an attorney regarding whether there is any way you can separate yourself financially from any financial repercussions from unpaid loans.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • robin

    I just got approved for ssd. My check will be 1017.00 a month. How much will my two children that live with me recieve a piece? They are 12 and 13. Thank you fir you help

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Robin,

      Given the amount of your benefit, your two children together may be eligible for $508. To get the exact amount, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and ask the amount of your family maximum benefit. The difference between the family maximum and your benefit is the dependent benefit that will be paid.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • melissa

    If you are a payee does that mean you are that person guardian? If the person leaves out of state can you make them come back home because your worried about their safety and we’ll being?

    • melissa

      How do i go about getting paperwork if the payee is the Guardian? The local court house or social security office?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Melissa,

        I responded to your other question but may have misunderstood the question. A court of law, not the Social Security Administration must appoint a guardian.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Melissa,

      Being a representative payee for an other person’s Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit does not make you the person’s guardian. If the person is out of state and you are not able to monitor and pay for his or her needs, then you need to report this to Social Security and have the benefits suspended until the person can get another payee or returns to your area where you can again help.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • henrietta goodson

        dear kate my social security check is 902 if my daughter is approve this time how much will her check will be off of me and how much her ssi check will be cause she is 26 and is mental incapacity i will be her payee..

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Henrietta,

          The highest that your daughter’s disabled adult child benefits can be is $451 but it could be less depending on the amount of your family maximum benefit. All but $20 of her Social Security benefit will be used to reduce her Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • henrietta goodson

            oh ok tyu kate

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Henrietta.

  • Steve Black

    My mother in-law is on Medi-Cal and receives SS benefits and I think some amount of survivor benefits for my recently deceased father-in-law. To ensure proper care several months ago we moved them both from a nursing home 300 miles away to one in our city in Calif. My father-in law passed a few months ago and my mother in law still lives in the same nursing home close to us. My husband and his two siblings have POA over her affairs both medical and financial as she is not capable. My husband and I make 1 to 2 visits a week to take care of her daily needs, but as a way to get my husbands siblings somewhat engaged in the care process (brother lives about 125 miles away and sister lives out of state in MN) my husband asked them both to share some of the load. The brother helped a little on working through the Medi-Cal process and he asked his sister to handle her financial affairs such as managing her bank account, receiving her SS benefits check and making sure the nursing home is compensated. His sister is now being told that because she lives out of state and not close-by to be in-touch with her needs that she is ineligible to be the “representative” payee and either we do it (because we live close) or they will appoint it to the nursing home. This doesn’t make sense to us. We frequently discuss our mothers condition with the sister and she’s kept current on all matters to keep her in the loop. We prefer to not be the representative payee just because we live close-by as this lets my husbands two siblings with zero ownership or participation and totally off the hook for any involvement with helping with our mother-in-laws affairs. What’s your opinion on who legally can be the representative payee? Thanks.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Steve,

      It is great that your family is working together to care for your mother-in-law. I suggest that you go to Social Security and explain the family cooperation that’s going on. They might make an exception and allow someone who cannot directly check on the physical welfare and needs of the Social Security beneficiary be payee. If not, your recourse is for you or your wife to be the official payee and have your sister-in-law informally keep the books for you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Marie

    I’m disabled and my mother has been my payee for me since I was a child. A few years ago, she developed cancer and underwent chemo. Since then, she has been acting erratic, goes out gambling until 4am, has a drinking problem, and doesnt pay bills on time. She leaves them unpayed until we almost lose the house, get the water and electricity shut down, or waits until we almost get the car taken away, (she always then begs relatives to help her out with money at the last minute). She is unfit as a payee, and is definitely misusing my money, although i do not want her to get in trouble because she is ill. The problem is I also have no one else to make payee. She has made sure she scared away any friends of mine, because she says my disability should preclude me from having friends. When she catches me talking to other people, she threatens them and treats me like a common criminal. The worst part is, she refuses to drive me anywhere, and doesn’t let me to drive the car, despite the fact I have a driver’s license. I can’t even go the the social security office and change the Payee even if I had a friend willing to become one (I dont.) My question is, how to I go about finding someone? Can I be appointed one, and would they provide transportation for me? I do not receive any pocket money to hire a cab.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Marie,

      You do not have to go to a Social Security office. You can call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 and make an appointment for a telephone interview to apply to be your own payee or you can mail in a written request to be your own payee. I suggest that you submit all the information that you gave me. It would be helpful to have a letter from your physician that says you are capable of handling your funds.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Karen Flemett

    4985 N. Spring Glen Rd., Helper, Utah 84526. I am a Rep. Payee for a guy that just moved to Calif. to go live with his grandma. His mother drove him to Las Vegas to meet up with family. I filled up her gas tank with the debit card before they went. He said he needed cash to pay for a fill-up along the way to their destination. He also wanted money to pay for his Dad’s gas tank whom he was also meeting up with before he got to his grandma’s. I felt I gave him sufficient cash to pay for the gas and for food along the way. Now he is asking me to mail him a money order, but I am refusing at this point. I asked him to fax me copies of his receipts which he will do tomorrow when he gets to his grandma’s house. His grandma is going to apply to be his new Representative Payee so the responsibility will be hers if she is approved. Meanwhile, I feel he should be treated as a guest until things get set up. I don’t feel responsible for repeatedly giving him money for his family members gas tanks. And if he goes shopping, how would I know he is just buying for his needs and not someone else’s wants. Can his debit card be used over the phone with a store manager who can verify what he is purchasing? I don’t want to be responsible for his flagrant spending. What are my responsibilities at this point. I am in Utah and he is going to change his residence to Calif.
    435-472-8341

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Karen Flemmett,

      I am responding to your question, but I am not posting your question because you included your address and phone number. I suggest that you go to Social Security and report the man’s move so that you do not receive the August payment. If it is too late to stop the payment, return the payment received in August to Social Security so that they can issue it to the new payee. (You could return the remainder of July for re-issuance.) Also, ask the grandmother to apply to be payee right away. If he receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and not Social Security Disability (SSDI), being a guest in his grandmother’s home could result in his benefits being reduced.

      I believe the DirectExpress card works with businesses like any other debit card; however, it may be hard to get a store to take a debit phone order if they are not set up for it. You might send the fellow $20 in case he needs toothpaste or other personal care items before his benefits get transferred.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Jon Stemper

    My girlfriend got hurt at a motel and they double charged her direct express card her payee was with her and it seems like she isn’t doing nothing about it what can I do to help her.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jon,

      The double charge sounds like a banking issue. I suggest that you ask the payee to accompany you and your girlfriend to the bank to file a statement that the card was double charged.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • ronda

    can I receive my first bac pay installment myself if my payee has not ben set up yet an I don’t hav an account my worker told me I could receive the first payment myself an then set up a payee an direct deposit im in cali

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ronda,

      Yes, sometimes payment will be started while payee selection is in process. They may pay you a monthly payment and not the accumulated back pay directly.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • My husband has been diagnosed with Schzophrenia, Bipolar and Paranoia Personality disorder. He has been to Insane House 3x and the last stay was 28days. I have been married to him sinve 1995 and have two minor kids with him. I am his payee. I put a restraining order on him because he was going to kill us for sure and the neighbors. He is out and his money hungry Grandparents want his disability check for themselves, The girls and I ea get a ch 241.00ea. He gets 1341.00. Grandparents already tried called ss and they have no record of him. All checks come in my name only and my name first on his check. Can they somehow make stop me from being his.payee and stop my checks? Since I have been married more than 10Years what type of money would I get? Would I be entiltled to any of his 1341.00? Should I contact ss? And tell them about his grandparents ententions. He is living with them and only because they want his money. Not to help him get better. Thank you. Stacy

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stacy,

      If you have a restraining order on your husband, I don’t see how you can successfully serve as his payee. You must spend his benefit on him, not on you and the children. To be his payee, you have to pay his rent and utilities and see that he has food, clothing, and medicine. This requires you to be in contact with him. You need to report to Social Security that you can’t carry out the payee responsibilities. At that time, you can make a statement that you do not think the grandparents should be made payee.

      I believe that you are asking about divorced wife’s benefits. You could be eligible as long as you have a child under age sixteen in your care or you are age sixty (fifty if you are disabled) and your earnings are low enough.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Patti

    I am my son’s representative payee. I am in the process of trying to teach him to be more independent and learn how to manage money on his own so that hopefully he can get off SSI and become independent. I just recently started writing him a check so he can learn how to cash it and buy food and he gives me the receipts showing where it goes. First, can I do that? Also, recently I did that for him to get a bus pass and he forgot to bring me the receipt, what the best way to document it? Basically I guess my question is how can I as his payee start teaching him to manage money and learn how to handle it on his own while being his payee. Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Patti,

      As you educate your son on how to use money, you are also keeping track of the use of the money, which shows the money is being spent for him. That’s all the is necessary. With regard to the buss pass, I suggest that you photocopy the pass so it can serve as the “receipt.”

      Best regards,

      Kay

  • Shannon

    As a representative payee, are we allowed to give the cash out of the ssi account that their check goes in? I mean they can’t have a debit card or check? Also do we have to turn in receipts for the cash we give them? IF they can’t manage money they are not going to be able to keep up with receipts.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shannon,

      As representative payee, you are not supposed to give any substantial amount of money to the person for whom you are payee. You should pay their rent, utilities, phone, bus tickets and or bus pass, and medical care directly. If you think they are capable of handling a week’s worth of grocery money and household supply money on their own, then you might give a week’s cash to the person for those things. Otherwise, you would take him or her shopping for groceries and supplies, clothing, etc. If there is any money left after necessities, it would be appropriate to give that to the person for spending money–perhaps on a weekly rather than monthly basis. I suggest that you get a receipt book and have the person sign a receipt for the cash you do hand over. Otherwise, you keep the records.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  • Nicole

    I am trying to get as much information as i can to report the payees of my disabled brother. He lives with them and pays$ 450 to live on a porch that he has to shate with a young child (my brother is 23) … The wife of the payee is a drunk, she threatens to throw him out every other day and puts a lot of stress on him. My brother has severe psorises but they never make sure he is taken to the doctor or has cream to manage the flare ups. His teeth are horible and he is never taken to the dentist. They make him pawn his items for money for them promising to get it back out but never do. When he needs a ride they charge him an arm and leg for gas. It kills me knowing how he is living and now his girl friend has moved in with.him so they want to up his rent for a porch space he shares with their young son. they allow others to live in the house for free but OVER charge my brothwr. I wish i could help him but I live in CA and he doesnt want to leave UT because of his relationship with his girlfriend. Do I have enough to report them???

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nicole,

      You can report the information you now have to Social Security and they can investigate. It would be helpful if at the same time you could suggest an alternative payee for your brother. Is his girlfriend capable and reliable? If so, could she be his payee? Would you be able to help your brother find another place to live? Do he and is girlfriend have enough income to live on their own somewhere else? Could your brother qualify for government subsidized housing? One final note, it is against the law to use your brother’s check to pay rent for his girlfriend.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Christine

    As the payee accout representative and parent can we get reimbursed for the applicable listed expenses occured while the SSI application was being approved since we will recieve back pay for that time frame? I have all the receipts to account for them.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Christine,

      If you and the person receiving the SSI agreed that your financial assistance was a loan that would be repaid when he or she was approved and if the current needs of the disabled person, including deferred dental care and the like, are met with some reserve savings for the unexpected, it could be okay to use the money to repay the debt, even though you are the one owed. However, BEFORE DOING SO, talk with a Social Security claims representative and give the facts and figures to get the okay in advance.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • stephanie

    i am a payee for my son and my son’s father. I had unknowingly allowed him to have his card to take care of what he needed unfortunately i was told i wasnt supposed to do that when i went for an annual expense report to social security they told me under NO CIRCUMSTANCES AM I TO GIVE HIM HIS CARD THAT IM SUPPOSED TO TAKE CARE OF ALL EXPENSES . well after that i started doin exactly what they said i ordered a new card and now he’s mad im not givning him the card he got a letter that his doctor can fill out if he’s capable of taking care of himself he isnt! he smokes weed and buy nothing for himself what can i do to alert them that he does need a payee i dont mind not being his payee anymore because its a headache and constant arguing they told him since this is the second payee he has had he will now get a county payee if he isnt happy with me i just want to be done with this whole situation and make sure they know the truth

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stephanie,

      You can write up a statement saying why you think he should not be his own payee and give it to Social Security and his doctor. If you do not object to someone else being payee for him, you can add that. Social Security will take your statement into consideration. One thing to keep in mind is that benefits are not payable for drug addiction.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

    • melanie

      My daughter has threaten to cut off her social security check cause she ran away and I cut off her cell phone I give her money every month can she do that do you know I can’t seem to find out any information I’m her payee and she has mental illness they put her a home til she is 18 but she takes meds for her illness I’m worried if she does this it could affect her getting her meds

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Melanie,

        Your daughter cannot stop her Social Security check; however, you do need to use all her benefits for her, housing and food, clothing, bus tickets if needed, school supplies, medical and dental not covered by insurance. If not all the money is needed for those things, then a weekly allowance for entertainment is appropriate. Note that is she is really receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because she is disabled and not Social Security on a parent’s earnings record because she is a minor, then you need to immediately report her new living arrangements to Social Security. She may not be eligible for the same amount of SSI living in a group home.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

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