+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    dequeendistress is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Purgatory
    Posts
    2,023

    Rep. Payee requirement

    What is the name of your state? AR

    Can a payee with strict information for the beneficiary of Social Security Survivor payment and SSI. Clarified (somewhat) below:

    Is it allowable to have all information in regard to payments of SSI and SS go to the payee address and not disclose to the recipient, as in eligibility notices, notice of allotment amounts, all bank statements, etc. This includes the beneficiary not having ANY access to bank balance information FROM the institution where the individuals' account is.
    (if the person was not receiving SSI when the payee was assigned,and then is awarded SSI, must the payee disclose the notice of award to the recipient or can they legally withhold that information)

    What is the determining factor in having countersigned checks by the payee and the beneficiary or having only the payee signing the check?

    Will Social Security require persons not institutionalized to have a representative payee or is the choice left to the recipient of the SS/SSI payment?

    Can the representative payee require the recipient of benefits to shop at certain stores, only buy certain items? (I am not referring to unnecessary or extravagant purchases)
    Last edited by dequeendistress; 08-20-2004 at 09:10 AM. Reason: clarity attempt
  2. #2
    BlondiePB is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Bikini Atoll
    Posts
    5,630
    A Rep. Payee is allowed to have the Beneficiary's SS payments and statements go to the Rep. Payee's address.

    A Rep. Payee must open a Rep. Payee bank account for the Beneficiary. It is best to have, and recommended, SS deposit directly the monies due to that account. These accounts do not allow the Beneficiary access to funds. However, you are legally responsible and liable for a Rep. Payee accounting. To protect the beneficiary's funds, checking and savings accounts must show the beneficiary as the only owner. Neither the representative payee nor a third party can have ownership interest in the account. While the beneficiary retains ownership interest, the account title should not permit him or her to have direct access to the funds. Here are two recommended titles:

    * "(Beneficiary's name) by (your name),representative payee"
    * "(your name), representative payee for (beneficiary's name)"

    As for not disclosing financial information to the beneficiary, I would be glad to ask my guardian attorney this on Monday for you. As guardian, when my wards request to see bank statements, I do not hesitate to provide them the statements. After all, it is their money. I was just awarded Rep. payee for my mother, which is different from being a guardian (she is not my ward).

    A Rep. payee can sign the SS checks without the beneficiary signing them. However, follow your signature with Rep. payee.

    SS does not require that a beneficiary be institutionalized.

    Unless the Rep. payee is also the beneficiary's guardian or conservator of the person, the Rep. Payee cannot physically control the person. I do take my mother shopping at what ever store she wants to go to. I know this is important to her psychological well-being. She does buy things that I consider unnecessary, but as long as she doesn't go over her budget, I don't interfere and she is happy. Included in her budget after ensuring her food, housing, etc. are paid, she is given an allowance for recreation - which is allowable. As for SSI, I'm not certain if there is any difference. The phone number for SSA/SSI is (800) 772-1213.
    Last edited by m martin; 12-17-2004 at 03:31 PM.
  3. #3
    dequeendistress is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Purgatory
    Posts
    2,023
    Thank you.

    Clarification: This does not involve a ward and the payee is not the guardian

    Although I know the general information for Social Security and Payee's, a person approached me in a situation that I tried to summarize.

    This person is a widow receiving Social Security Survivor payments and at a later date was awarded SSI. Allegedly Social Security sent her a letter stating she was unable to manage her financial affairs and required a payee. She has not been in an institution and enjoyed 21 years of responsibility for managing the family financial affairs. The payee advised of the letter from Social Security. The reason there was a payee assigned is that the widow asked the person who is now the payee if she knew of anyone who could help her with filing for SSI. The next thing that happened is that this person went to the local Social Security office and magically required a payee. A copy of the notice from Social Security remains to be seen.

    Recently the widow called Social Security and inquired if she was receiving SSI and found that she has been for nine(9) months. When the payee was asked, she advised only 3 (three) checks had come and they were deposited into savings. Be aware, the widow does not receive any bank statements, only when she requests them and then gets them at the whim of the payee. The widow has never seen a savings account summary or statement. The widow called the bank several months ago to check her balance, the bank advised that they had been instructed by payee not to disclose the information to her. The widow does not have a signature line on her check and the payee is able to sign alone. Also, the entitlement notice for SSI went to the payee's address and remains to be seen as well. Her annual allotment notification for Survivor benefits also went to the payee and the widow never saw this either, I do understand it is customary to send this to the payee, I would think it customary to provide the recepient with a copy as well. If Soc. Sec. does not provide, should the payee not provide a copy of the notice?

    The question in regards to managing where and what is bought is due to:
    The widow was in the process of shopping at a merchandise/grocery retailer and wished to purchase groceries while there so she would not have to wait on the payee to transport her to the grocery store at a later date, she was told "no, you don't get that lunchmeat here, it's cheaper elsewhere." Then failed to take the widow "elsewhere" (not to mention they comp. at the store they were in) It was approximately a week before the payee was taken to get groceries, a friend bought them in the meantime.

    The widow was also advised she had to "get rid" of the family pet, a small rat terrier which had been in the home for over 5 years. There is and was no reason given, only that the payee does not like dogs. The widow has a friend purchase dog food, normally.

    I know what I think, but before I did anything I wanted to know what others thought. I am a reserve law enforcement officer but I have not said anything to any fellow workers, yet. As the payee is a "prominent" member of the community.
    Last edited by dequeendistress; 08-20-2004 at 12:23 PM.
  4. #4
    BlondiePB is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Bikini Atoll
    Posts
    5,630
    dequeendistress,
    You're very welcome.Unless I am mistaken, Social Security does not notify a person that he/she needs someone to handle one's money and financial affairs. Acquiring the Rep. Payee for my mother was not as easy as it was to be the Rep. Payee for my wards. It appears as though you are suspecting something "fishy". How did this so called Rep. Payee acquire the authorization to be the Rep. Payee? I know exactly what legally has to be done to be able to do this. And, I do know the difference between someone who is a ward and someone who is not a ward, which in the case you are referring to is not a ward.
  5. #5
    dequeendistress is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Purgatory
    Posts
    2,023
    Well, I thought that the perspective payee and the person to receive the benefits had a meeting with Social Security in person. This is NOT what happened, the person who is the payee went to the Social Security office and came back the payee, the widow was not present.

    The widow, is how do you put it...gullible, she just went along with it. (Complaining now and again to friends and not asking specific questions of the payee nor of Social Security)

    AFTER the assignment of the payee, the widow signed many forms, and NO she has no copy. I just found out that she also signed forms to apply for SSI PRIOR to the payee being assigned, I just wonder, is there a waiver form for not appearing at that conference....She would have signed it because she was told to by someone she thought she could trust.

    I like my job, you know....I CANNOT start something unless there is something to start....again this is why I am posting out of my usual stomping grounds on this forum....
  6. #6
    BlondiePB is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Bikini Atoll
    Posts
    5,630
    To become a Rep. Payee, the beneficiary fills out a Rep. Payee form with a prospective Rep. Payee's name, address, and Social Security Number. Social Security contacts the beneficiary's primary care physician (PCP). The PCP must document that the beneficiary is unable to handle his/her affairs due to some impairment - such as dementia. That information is then sent back to Social Security. Social Security then notifies the prospective Rep. Payee of when he/she has to report for an appointment at the local SS office and what documents to bring, like bank statements. At that appointment, the person either is declined the Rep. payee responsibility or is awarded to be the Rep. payee. If so awarded Rep. payee, Social Security then sends the Rep. payee papers required to open bank accounts for the beneficiary and the responsibilities with which the Rep. payee liable, including accounting for the money.

    What is the nature of the impairment of this person?

    Also, after being awarded Rep. Payee for my mother, I did not have to sign a bunch of other papers.
    Last edited by BlondiePB; 08-20-2004 at 01:13 PM.
  7. #7
    dequeendistress is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Purgatory
    Posts
    2,023
    Keep in mind that the assignment of the payee was PRIOR to award of SSI, there was NO impairment, the monies was from survivor benefits.

    Scoliosis and chronic back pain associated with the disease was the reason for the SSI. Widow was unable to stand or sit for long periods of time, etc.

    Widow worked as a clerk previously, and was capable of filing, routine accounting, etc.
    Last edited by dequeendistress; 08-20-2004 at 01:17 PM.
  8. #8
    BlondiePB is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Bikini Atoll
    Posts
    5,630
    I was keeping that in mind. Though I did do things in the reverse order, applying for SSI, medical and financial assistance for my mother and then acquiring the Rep. payee for her, the proper legal channels apply. For instance, the POA gives me the legal authorization to apply for SSI, state medical and financial assistance. The POA does not authorize me to handle the SS Retirement, Survivors and Disability. Social Security does not accept an POA; therefore, the previous stated steps must be done to become a Rep. Payee.

    The following is from SS Guide for Rep. payees: " A payee is appointed to manage Social Security funds only. A payee has no legal authority to manage non-Social Security income or medical matters. Family member often use a "power of attorney" as another way to handle a family member's finances to suit their needs. Howver, for SS purposes, using a "power of attorney" is NOT an acceptable way to manage a person's monthly benefits. Although a POA may be a convenient way to pay bills and handle some legal matters, SS does not recognize it for managing a beneficiary's funds.

    To be a Rep. payee, the beneficiary needs help in managing his/her own money. This has to be documented by a PCP that the beneficiary does, indeed, need help due to some impairment regardles of whether the SSI was acquired prior or after being appointed Rep. Payee. A Rep. Payee cannot apply for SSI etc. without legal authorization (POA, Guardian, Conservator). Is the person you are concerned about incapable of handling his/her own money and affairs? Do you suspect that the Rep. Payee had this person sign POA papers afterwards?
    Last edited by BlondiePB; 08-20-2004 at 01:56 PM.
  9. #9
    dequeendistress is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Purgatory
    Posts
    2,023
    There is no power of attorney.

    The claimant claims she filed her own SSI papers.

    Yes she is capable of taking care of her own financial needs and has for three years after husband passed away. Prior to his passing, she maintained the financial records and affairs of the household.
  10. #10
    BlondiePB is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Bikini Atoll
    Posts
    5,630
    Thank you. Now, do you want to make big problems or little problems for the Rep. payee?
  11. #11
    dequeendistress is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Purgatory
    Posts
    2,023
    Which ever applies
  12. #12
    BlondiePB is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Bikini Atoll
    Posts
    5,630
    Remember, the beneficiary must be incapable of handling his/her own money for SS to appoint a Rep. payee and the PCP has to send SS information stating so specifying a condition. This information should be a part of the beneficiary's medical records. Without this information from the PCP, SS will not appoint a Rep. payee. Either the PCP sent SS a condition that states some specific condition impairing the beneficiary of being capable of handling his/her own money, or someone at SS "dropped the ball" on this one.

    A Rep. payee also needs to tell SS about numerous changes regarding the beneficiary including if the beneficiary no longer needs a payee.

    A Rep. payee must first make sure the beneficiary's day-to-day needs for food and shelter are met.

    The beneficiary can take some action and documentation from PCP stating that the beneficiary is competent to handle his/her own money and a trip to the local SS office are in order. After SS makes its inquiries, and if SS decides that the beneficiary can manage his/her own money, SS will send the benefits directly to the beneficiary. The beneficiary can then open his/her own bank account again. These are the little problems.

    As for causing big problems for the Rep. payee, I will defer you to your state statutes that explain elder abuse/explolitation that are normally found in the Social Welfare codes and leave it up to you to decide whether or not this beneficiary has been abused, neglected, exploited, etc. and to make a call to Adult Protective Services for an investigation.
  13. #13
    dequeendistress is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Purgatory
    Posts
    2,023
    Thanks.

    How hard is it to put in a "change request" re. the payee.

    Can the beneficiary request a change or what?

    Maybe this would be a quick fix and if further investigation reveals that misuse of the widows benefits by the current payee, that situation can be addressed....

    To my calculations provided by the widow, there was approximately $18,000 paid on her and her daughter's behalf this calander year. Of the $18,000.00 I came to the approximate total of $12,000.00 spent....leaving me the question...where is the other $6,000.00.

    Nice Caddy....too...hmmmm...I also notice that the License Plate numbers are a batch from the past 4 months....

    See I am suspicious....
  14. #14
    BlondiePB is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Bikini Atoll
    Posts
    5,630
    dequeen,
    I understand your suspicions. Actually, I went into my SS records for my wards too and will clearly differentiate things. For instance, my wards were sent letters directly to them from SS informing the wards that I was chosen as their Rep. payee. I had to report to SS where the wards were living: home, nursing home, assisted living, etc. and have to report to SS if the wards are relocated. I had to report to SS where my mother is living and if my mother relocates. The SS beneficiary is to be sent this notice addressed to him/her. My mother has not received this notice yet as this was recently done. The beneficiary does have the right to appeal this decision (60 days), which my mother can do but not my wards.

    Rep. payees can be paid for their services; however, the Rep. payee must petition SS to be allowed to be paid and provide to SS what the Rep. payee did, how long it took, etc. Then, SS will authorize that the Rep. payee be paid. Now, in my mother's case, I would not even consider this, even if I were her guardian/conservator. And if I were her guardian, the determining factor for me to be paid to handle my mother's affairs would be whether or not handling her affairs is what I would do as her daughter anyway. With my wards, I do request to be paid. This is done with a petition to the court detailing what I did, how much time I spent, and if the ward has the funds to pay for my services. In both instances, I must have authorization to pay myself. I cannot just write myself checks.

    All Rep. payees must account for every penny of the beneficiary's funds. SS does require an annual accounting. However, I have yet to have this request from SS for my wards which is different from the accounting I have to submit annually to the court. Regardless of whether it's to a court or to SS, I have to account for and liable for every penny of the beneficiary. The accounting is a pain in the ..., but my reports balance perfectly, have no discrepencies, have no suspicious transactions (like checks made out to cash), all receipts are kept, and I make sure anyone can easily follow the money.

    The form SS requested from my mother's PCP (Physician's/Medical Officer's Statement of Patient's Capability To Manage Benefits) has the following on it:

    The patient shown above has filed for or is receiving SS or SSI payments. We need you to complete the back of this form and return it to us to help us (SS) decide if we should pay this person directly or if he/she needs a Rep. payee to handle the funds.

    Who Needs a Rep. Payee:
    Some individuals age 18 and older who have mental or physical impairments are not capable of handling their funds ... Examples of impairments which may cause incapability are senility, severe brain damage or chronic schizophrenia. However, even though a person may need some assistance with such things as bill paying, etc., it does not necessarily mean he/she cannot make decisions concerning basic needs and is incapable of managing his/her own money.

    Also, the PCP is asked:
    1) the last date the beneficiary was examined,
    2) do you believe the patient is capable of managing or directing the management of benefits in his/her own best interest? By capable we (SS) mean that the patient:
    a) is able to understand and act on the ordinary affairs of life, such as providing for own adequate food, housing, clothing, etc, and
    b) is able, in spite of physical impairments, to manage funds or direct others how to manage them.

    The PCP then checks yes, no, or unsure. If yes, the PCP is asked whether the PCP is expects the patient to be able to manage the funds in the future. If yes, the PCP has to explain.

    If the PCP checks no, the patient is not capable of handling his/her affairs, the PCP must explain the condition that incapacitates the beneficiary from doing so and whether or not the patient is expected to do so in the future as well.
    If the PCP checks unsure, the PCP is require to explain this as well.

    When SS had me report to the local office to be my mother's Rep. payee, I was informed that the PCP did not specify a condition that warranted my mother being incapable of handling her finances. Because no condition was specified, I was declined the Rep. payee at that time. It didn't matter any more because my mom allowed me to handle her affairs with my POA and our joint checking account which is where her SS goes via direct deposit. I do know that SS requested that the PCP specify an impairment for my mother because I was sent another notice to report to the local SS office. At this appointment, SS did have me sign the Rep. payee papers.

    The "quick fix" to this via the beneficiary's PCP. Also, the beneficiary can call SS regarding the Rep. payee informing SS that he/she never did receive the notification that SS chose whomever it is as being chosen by SS to be the Rep. payee, has concerns regarding the Rep. payee, and would like the opportunity to appeal this decision and/or have some one else be the Rep. payee.

    If this beneficiary is totally competent to handle his/her affairs, the best way is to go through the PCP stating so in writing and taking that to SS. Keep in mind dequeendistress, there are elders that are really, really good at fooling others with their level of competency. One of my ward's had the entire assisting living staff believe she was much more competent than she really was. In fact, this lady even fooled the psychiatrist into believing that her paranoia had improved. Make sure you really understand what's going on with this beneficiary. Does this beneficiary have any other family?

    You can look up Rep. payee fees at [url]www.ssa.gov[/url] and there's more informtion at [url]www.ssa.gov/payee[/url]

    If this Rep. payee is, indeed, inappropriately using the beneficiary's money, do the right thing and turn him/her in. Just make sure there is just cause to do so.

    Let me know if I missed anything or if you need more info. Thanks for taking the time to look out for an elder. There's way, way too much financial exploitation going on with the old folks. Keep us informed.

Similar Threads

  1. a payee
    By alishass in forum Social Security Disability / SSI Law
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-02-2011, 01:22 PM
  2. ssi payee needs help
    By mysterypanda09 in forum Social Security Disability / SSI Law
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 09-14-2010, 01:39 AM
  3. Rep Payee
    By Ptrcmcc6 in forum Social Security Disability / SSI Law
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-25-2006, 08:38 PM
  4. What does a Payee pay?
    By thunderrage in forum Social Security Disability / SSI Law
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-30-2005, 03:16 PM
  5. Mom SSI payee for son
    By Mel in forum Family Law Archive
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-30-2000, 08:21 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

© 1995-2012 Advice Company, All Rights Reserved

FreeAdvice® has been providing millions of consumers with outstanding advice, free, since 1995. While not a substitute for personal advice from a licensed professional, it is available AS IS, subject to our Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions Of Use.