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Protecting Vulnerable Social Security Recipients

There is a new law that adds protections for any elderly, disabled, or minor Social Security recipient where their benefit is paid to someone else representing them - a “Representative Payee” - either an individual or organization.  The Payee must use or save the money for the beneficiary.  The new law has several provisions.

  • The states must conduct periodic onsite reviews of Payees.
  • A Payee must
    • grant permission for a background check
    • not be a convicted felon
    • not be a recipient themselves with a Representative Payee
  • Social Security recipients who anticipate needing a Representative Payee may designate who they want, in advance.
  • The requirement to provide an annual accounting of how the benefit was used has been eliminated for a Payee who is the spouse or parent of the beneficiary, living in the same home.  This means that a husband caring for his wife with Alzheimer’s, or a widow with three young children, no longer has to report each year on how the money was spent.