If you’ve regularly kept up with our blog until this point or are familiar with the Social Security Administration’s requirements for what conditions qualify as a disability, then you know that many of the conditions considered to be disabling truly leave an individual unable to perform gainful activities or perform their job. In some cases, an individual living with a disability may not even be able to take care of themselves because of their condition.
It’s because of this very fact that we’re writing today’s post. As you can imagine, if an individual is too disabled to care for themselves, they also may not be able to manage their finances, including their monthly disability benefits. In cases like this, a representative payee may be chosen, either by the disabled individual’s family or by the Social Security office. A representative payee is then responsible for managing the individual’s benefit checks each month. But according to a recent Disability Scoop article, many people receiving disability benefits do not have representative payees even though they may need one.
At present time, it’s estimated that only 3.5 million adults of the 16 million receiving disability benefits have a representative payee. Of the remaining 12.5 million who do not have a representative payee, it’s unknown how many truly need help managing their finances. That’s because, as a recent report conducted by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine explains, the Administration currently does not have a “standardized procedures for assessing each individual’s need for such assistance.”
Until the Administration comes up with a better system for assigning representative payees to beneficiaries, family members of people with disabilities will need to continue providing assistance to help their loved ones utilize the benefits they need and deserve.