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Social Security Administration Requested to Overhaul Its Representative Payee Approach

Social Security AdministrationSocial security disability insurance granted on the basis of a comprehensive medical record review is a major lifeline for many Americans. Disability lawyers help applicants prepare the claim and submit to the social security administration (SSA). They also help them with the appeals process in case the claim is denied.

According to a new report, many adult Americans receiving social security benefits are dependent on someone else to assist them in handling their money, but are often left on their own with nobody to help. The report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine say that only very few beneficiaries who are unable to manage their finances independently have a representative payee or a third party responsible for receiving and allocating money for those. At present, approximately 3.5 million of the 16 million adults receiving disability benefits from the SSA have a representative payee to make sure that the funds are used appropriately. The study highlights the fact that the SSA falls short of standardized procedures for evaluating each beneficiary’s need for such assistance. It does not have a solid means of identifying those at risk of becoming unable to manage their own affairs. They also noted discrepancy in connection with the determinations. Some beneficiaries who receive both SSDI as well as SSI have representatives for one program only.

The study recommended that the SSA implement new policies to identify beneficiaries who are in need of a representative payee, and also identify those at risk of becoming incapable and needing assistance.

The SSA policy at present is to select someone who knows the beneficiary and wants to help him/her. They try to make sure that the representative is someone who is able to visit the beneficiary often and clearly understands their needs. The representative payee may be a family member, a friend, a lawyer or a legal guardian. The payee would receive the payments on the beneficiary’s behalf and use the money to pay for the beneficiary’s current needs. Any leftover money can be used to pay past-due bills the beneficiary may have, provide entertainment for the beneficiary, or save the money for future use of the beneficiary.

About Rajeev Rajagopal

Rajeev Rajagopal

Manages the day-to-day operations of MOS from NY. With an interest in information technology, I have guided MOS to extensive use of digital technology and the internet that benefits MOS as well as MOS clients.