Understanding Social Security In this season of giving, help a loved one with Social Security.
Byline: SUBMITTED By Matt Eisenhauer, Social Security District Manager
During the holidays we surround ourselves with family and friends, some of whom may rely on us for a number of reasons. An aging parent might need help clearing snow. A sibling may require help after surgery.
And as we get older, our family members may need help managing their finances. In fact, more than 8 million people who get monthly Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits need help managing their money.
If you have a loved one who cannot manage their finances, you may be able to become a representative payee. We thoroughly investigate people who apply to be representative payees to protect the interests of Social Security beneficiaries, because a representative payee receives the beneficiary's payments and is given the authority to use them on the beneficiary's behalf.
Social Security appoints a representative payee to manage Social Security and SSI funds only. A payee has no legal authority to manage non-Social Security income or medical matters.
As a representative payee, you must know what the beneficiary's needs are so you can decide the best use of benefits for their care and well-being. This is especially important if the beneficiary doesn't live with you. Each year, Social Security may ask you to complete a form to account for the benefits you've received. You can either fill out the form and return it to Social Security or go online at www.socialsecurity.gov/payee to file the report.
Due to a recent change in the law, we no longer require the following payees to complete an annual Representative Payee Report:
* Natural or adoptive parents of a minor child beneficiary who primarily reside in the same household as the child;
* Legal guardians of a minor child beneficiary who primarily reside in the same household as the child;
* Natural or adoptive parents of a disabled adult beneficiary who primarily reside in the same household with the beneficiary; and
* Spouse of a beneficiary.
Taking care of family is something we do all year long, not just during this holiday season. Becoming a representative payee is a selfless act of kindness. You can read more about becoming a representative payee at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10076.pdf.
* Matt Eisenhauer is district manager of the Harrisburg Social Security office, at 18 Veterans Drive.
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|Publication:||Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)|
|Date:||Nov 7, 2018|
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