Social Security requires some people who receive disability benefits to have a representative payee. This occurs when Social Security determines that the disabled person is not able to handle her own
finances. This system has been a great assistance to thousands of Social Security disability recipients who simply cannot pay their bills or handle related matters.
Problems With Payees
Unfortunately, the representative payee system has had its problems. I have gotten many calls through the years from disabled people claiming that a representative payee has misused
or even stolen their benefits. Even some of the businesses set up to act as payees have gotten into trouble for financial mismanagement and fraud.
A New Law Will Help
A new law should help. Congress has passed the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act and sent it to the president for signature. This new law will provide additional protections to those disabled persons with representative payees. Under the new law, protection and advocacy organizations will have new powers to investigate payees. While this might sound a bit toothless, any further oversight will assuredly help.
Where To Get Help
If you have a representative payee whom you suspect is mishandling your Social Security disability benefits, contact your local protection and advocacy organization for assistance. In Arizona, that
would be the Arizona Center Disability Law.