Q: How do I know if my representative payee is honest?
California disability benefits attorneys are devoted to helping society’s most vulnerable citizens determine which of the two available federal disability benefits programs they may be qualified for and then handling the application and/or appeals process necessary to secure those benefits.
The two federal disability benefits programs offered through the Social Security Administration(“SSA”) both require that applicants meet the federal government definition of being “disabled”. In general, Social Security disability benefits (“SSDI”) apply to disabled people who have previously worked for a requisite number of years and paid into Social Security through their payroll deductions. The other program, Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) is available to disabled people in an exceptionally low-income situation. Sometimes people may qualify for both programs.
While the road to being awarded disability benefits can be long and difficult, especially without assistance from a skilled disability benefits attorney, the difficulties don’t always end when the award is granted.
Whenever a vulnerable disabled person’s money is managed by another person– as in the case of a disability benefits recipient and a representative payee – – the possibility of financial abuse exists.
But new legislation is expected to change all that.
The Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018 is an exciting unanimously-approved new law that offers many protections to disability benefits recipients “who must rely on representative payees to manage their Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits.”
The new law, aimed at curbing exploitation and abuse by unethical or unqualified representative payees will:
- prohibit those with criminal convictions from becoming representative payees
- prohibit recipients who have representative payees from acting as representative payees for others
- allow recipients to designate a list of their preferred representative payees
- mandate more reviews of representative payee performance
- eliminate annual accounting forms for representative payees who are parents or spouses living with recipients.
The new law will impact approximately 8 million recipients whose are managed by about 6.2 million representative payees.
If you or a loved one have questions or need assistance applying for or appealing the denial of Social Security disability benefits, the Social Security disability experts at Peňa and Bromberg can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.
From our office in Fresno, California, we represent disabled clients and veterans throughout California and nationwide.