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How does having a representative payee affect SSI benefits?


Texans who are receiving Social Security disability sometimes have what is known as a "representative payee" who will manage the money. This must be fully understood in several contexts such as how it influences the individual and what those who get Supplemental Security Income are required to do based on it. In general, the Social Security Administration will decide that a person needs a representative payee if there is information indicating that he or she will need assistance in managing their money.

The representative payee will receive the benefits for the person. The money has to be utilized for the payment of the following: housing; utilities; food; medical costs; dental costs; items for personal care; clothes; and costs for rehab treatments for a disabled person. Once those expenses have been paid, the remainder of the money - if any - can be used to pay past-due bills, provide spending money, support others or be used on entertainment. The payee should save the remaining money for the recipient. The payee must be informed if the recipient does the following: gets a job or ceases work; moves residence; marries; leaves the U.S. on a trip; is incarcerated; is hospitalized; or is receiving disability and is not disabled any longer.

Those who are receiving SSI benefits have other important points to remember with a representative payee. They must tell the payee if there is money received from a different source; if they apply for welfare or other government assistance; or if they save any money. The SSA might pay too much to the person if this information is not given. There could be criminal charges for failure to disclose this and continuing to receive the previous amount. Those who are receiving SSI benefits must bear in mind that they cannot have more than $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple in cash and property to keep getting SSI.

Having a representative payee is an extra factor that those who are applying for SSI benefits need to know about. Given that this can lead to complications and has various rules attached to it makes it even more imperative that the person grasp them. For help with any aspect of a representative payee and SSI benefits, it is wise to discuss the matter with an attorney who is experienced in SSI.

Source: ssa.gov, "When A Representative Payee Manages Your Money," accessed on Dec. 5, 2016

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