Thursday, April 26, 2012

Representative Payee

A representative payee is an individual or organization that receives Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits for someone who cannot manage his or her money.  The payee is supposed to use the SSD benefits to pay for the needs of the beneficiary and to save any remainder.

I represent a 50 year old former contract specialist with a traumatic brain injury (“TBI”), whose SSD application was approved today.  I secured reports from the claimant’s treating physicians that showed the TBI was so severe that it met the “listing” for an organic brain disorder.

         During the hearing, I elicited testimony from the claimant’s mother regarding the claimant’s cognitive deficits.  Among other things, I had the mother describe how the claimant requires assistance for most every daily activity, and that included the mother’s taking over the responsibility for handling all of the claimant’s financial matters.  I did not raise the issue of a representative payee at the hearing.  Fortunately, in his decision, Administrative Law Judge Joseph Faraguna recommended that a determination be made for a representative payee.
           Social Security's Representative Payment Program provides financial management for the payment of SSD benefits to beneficiaries who are incapable of managing them.  Family or friends can serve as representative payees, but if they are not available, Social Security will ask a qualified organization to be a representative payee.

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