Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Insights from The Orlando Senior Help Desk: Representative payee

Edited by Nancy Ludin

CEO, Jewish Pavilion

Some of the millions of people who get monthly Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits need help managing this money. A person assigned to help you manage your monthly benefits is called a representative payee. The Social Security office may decide you need a representative payee if they receive information that indicates you need help to manage your money. They try to select someone who knows you and wants to help you. Your representative payee should be someone who you trust, who sees you often, and who clearly understands your needs.

A representative payee receives your monthly benefits on your behalf and must use the money to pay for your current needs. Eligible costs include: housing and utilities; food; medical and dental expenses; personal care items; clothing; and rehabilitation expenses (if you’re disabled).

If there is someone you want to be your representative payee, tell a Social Security representative, and they will consider your request. Social service agencies, nursing homes, or other organizations are also qualified to be your representative payee. Ask them to contact the Social Security office.

If you receive a decision that you are appointed a representative payee and don’t agree that you need one, or if you want a different representative payee, write to the Social Security office within 60 days to appeal that decision.

If you can’t manage your finances, someone else can help. If you have a trusted friend or family member who can be your representative payee, their publication: A Guide for Representative Payees will provide more information on our representative payee rules.

While most seniors face major adjustments when transitioning to an elder-care community, Jewish seniors face additional challenges. Not only do they lose their homes, and many of their friends, but they also lose ties to their cultural heritage. This is where the Jewish Pavilion, a 501c3 non-profit, steps in. The Pavilion serves as a resource that provides room visits, festive holiday celebrations, and more to 450 Jewish residents in fifty facilities for seniors. The Jewish Pavilion promotes inclusion, and thousands of seniors of all faiths are welcomed into our programs. http://www.JewishPavilion.org

The Orlando Senior Help Desk at the Jewish Pavilion (407-678-9363) helps thousands of callers navigate their way through the daunting senior maze, alleviating caregiver stress while giving advice on all types of elder issues. http://www.OrlandoSeniorHelpDesk.org

Originally published on Social Security Matters.

 

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