Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

New act passed by Senate affects representative payee and SSI

There has been much talk this year about changes to the social security program and also the SSI Supplemental Security Income program. Much of this has been just talk, but a recent development is anything but. The Senate recently passed an act that affects SSI recipients and their representatives, among other parties. It impacts how each state reviews and administers these federally-backed programs to their recipients.

The new act gives funding to each state that allows for a budget specifically for reviews of representative payees under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program and the Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program. As many SSI recipients and their families know, a representative is common in properly managing SSI Supplemental Security Income benefits as oftentimes the recipient isn't able to manage it themselves. According to AARP, approximately 5.5 million beneficiaries rely on a representative payee to manage their SSI benefits. The act also puts stronger fraud detections in place to deter and catch those using SSI benefits fraudulently.

Only those deserving of SSI benefits should receive them, as otherwise it defeats the whole point of the program. In order to help with these goals, representative payees may not be an individual who has been convicted of a felony, or of an attempt or a conspiracy to commit a felony. Felons have other restricted rights and this now applies to those managing SSI benefits, among other aspects. If you are a convicted felon and are serving as a representative payee, you should look into this development as it could delay in the ability to receive SSI benefits.

SSI Supplemental Income is needed by so many who have been granted access to benefits. There are even more out there who could benefit from the benefits of SSI Supplemental Security Income. This act will allow states to be better connected with federal in terms of monitoring and administering these benefits. This should help in administering benefits to those that need them. That is the hope for all who are in need and are deserving of these benefits to be receiving them.

Source: thinkadvisor.com, "Senate Passes Social Security Beneficiaries Act," Melanie Waddell, March 26, 2018

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