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Representative Payee

Lawyers for SSDI Claims in Chicago

The Social Security Administration (SSA) appoints a representative payee to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for anybody that can’t manage or direct the management of Social Security benefits. Either a person or organization can serve as a representative payee. The representative payee is supposed to use the SSDI benefits to pay for any needs of the beneficiary, whether they arise now or in the future. Benefits that aren’t necessary for meeting immediate needs must be saved by the representative payee to pay for needs arising in the future. If you have questions about the role of a representative payee relative to your claim, a skilled Chicago Social Security attorney can help you understand the applicable rules and procedures.

Representative Payee

Representative payees are people who manage a beneficiary’s SSDI or SSI benefits payments when they are not able to manage their own. A representative payee has the legal authority to negotiate and handle a beneficiary’s SSDI or SSI benefits.

Most minors and any legally incompetent adult must have a representative payee, but an adult is considered able to manage his or her own benefits. A representative payee’s primary duties are to use benefits to pay for an SSDI beneficiary’s needs. The payee is supposed to keep records of expenses. The SSA may ask for a report, and the payee should be able to give an accounting of how benefits were either utilized or saved for future needs.

Duties of a Representative Payee

There are certain duties the SSA expects you to fulfill as a representative payee. You’ll need to figure out what the beneficiary’s needs are, and use the SSDI benefits to meet the needs identified. You’ll have to save any leftover money and put it in an interest bearing account or savings bond to be used by the beneficiary. You’ll also need to report events or changes that could impact the beneficiary’s eligibility for payments. You’ll need to keep records of all the payments you got and how you used or saved them.

Additionally, if the SSA asks for records, you’ll have to provide them. You must also report to the SSA alterations to your life circumstances that could impact your performance or your continuing in the role of representative payee. You’ll need to fill out reports that account for how you used payments and give back to the SSA payments to which you’re not entitled. You’ll also have to give back payments you may have saved if you stop being the representative payee.

In addition, if the beneficiary is disabled, you’ll need to help that person obtain medical care and report alterations in their circumstances that could impact their eligibility for SSDI. You’ll need to return benefits to which the disabled person isn’t entitled.

It is important to be aware that even though many people have named other people to act on their behalf in the event of incapacity by identifying them in a power of attorney document or adding them to a joint account, this won’t automatically make the designated person a representative payee. Representative payees need to apply and be appointed by the SSA.

As a representative payee, you become entitled to be reimbursed for certain expenses you incur when you’re taking care of a disabled person. Reasonable out-of-pocket expenses you actually pay, such as the cost of taking the beneficiary to his or her physician’s appointments, can be reimbursed. You, as an individual serving as representative payee, can’t receive compensation for services.

Consult a Chicago SSDI Attorney

If you are concerned about acquiring or removing a representative payee in Chicago, it is wise to talk to an experienced SSDI lawyer. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we represent Social Security claimants with initial applications and appeals in Quincy, Rockford, Aurora, and Champaign, as well as Kane, Cook, Winnebago, Adams, and Sangamon Counties. Contact us at 800-444-1525 or at 312-263-6330 or by completing our online form.