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    • CommentAuthorbarbarakay
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2007 edited
     
    Does anyone have any experience with being a rep.? I wanted to get rid of a extra checking account. Both of our SS cks go to this account. After many hours of trying and waiting on hold with SS, they would not change his. I put him on the phone, but he could not answer their questions. I have an appointment to become his representative payee. I hope that will not become a lot of red tape and hoops to jump through. All I was trying to do was simplify my life, not complicate it. My neighbor's husband had EOAD, she was always keeping things separate. She even had a cleaning lady come and only clean his bathroom and bedroom. She really need more help than that. She was about 15 or more years older than he was.
    Barbarakay
    • CommentAuthorbarbarakay
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2007
     
    OOOPPPS, That is Representative payee. I need edit or spell check.
    Barbarakay
    • CommentAuthorDave S
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2007
     
    Hi Barbarakay,
    I just went through that for my wife last month. Like you, SS would not give me the information I needed on my wife and I had to become her representative payee. SS sent me a form, SSA-787, that I had to get her neurologist to complete stating that my wife had an incurable disease and that she was unable to handle her affairs. You will need to get a doctor to complete this form before SS will authorize you to become the payee.
    I also had to sign a 5 page form detailing the conditions for which I was responsible for concerning my wife's SS checks. We had a joint saving and checking account. I had to set up a special saving account just for my wife's direct deposit Social Security checks.
    The worst part of this is that I need to keep a detailed record of any money that I spend on her throughout the year and keep any receipts. After a year, the social security administration will want an accounting report and any records concerning where any of her money was spent.
    So I'm sorry to say that I don't think your life is about to become simplified. I need to contact the rep that I had my meeting with to clarify some of this reporting stuff. Hopefully, since we are married and our money has always been combined to pay for everything, such as bills, groceries, etc., some of this will be unnecessary. But for some reason, I doubt it.
    I wish you the best of luck with this rep business, Barbarakay.

    Dave S.
  1.  
    I have found that dealing with where the checks are deposited, changing that, etc, is best dealt with on the web site. You do have to log in as your spouse (which is technically illegal, and the site issues warnings and such,) but so far--since I know I am not up to no good--it's easier than trying to convince them that I need to be his rep. payee. I hope it will never come to that, at least as far as the SS Admin is concerned.
    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2007
     
    Barbarkay,

    I fixed the spelling for you. As "Administrator", I am able to edit. I have been looking for the "spell check" add-on for this forum, so everyone can fix their spelling if they need to, but so far, I haven't found it. I'll put it on if I find it.

    Your topic was one I had never heard of. As with all government programs, it's complicated. I'm going to look into it. We put all of our assets in my name, but no one ever mentioned his SS check to me.

    joang
    • CommentAuthordarlene
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2007
     
    Thanks for the information. We have our assets in a trust now and I need to have SS checks deposited in another account. The thought of having to account for all I spend and fill in reports doesn't sound like something I want to do. I may leave things as they are right now and then talk to my lawyer.
    Darlene
    • CommentAuthorbarbarakay
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2007
     
    The SS agent on the phone said that she is rep. payee for her brother. Once a year she sent back the form with just, 95 per cent food, clothing, and 5 per cent personal spending. She said it was simple. I guess I will see what I hear at my appointment and what the lawyer says. The gov never makes anything easy. If I need to keep detail records I will set up a catagory in Quicken for it and I can just print a report.
    Barbarakay
    • CommentAuthorJayne
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2007
     
    My husband's SS check comes in the mail (he has always been old fashioned and likes a paper trail - does not really understand or accept direct deposite). When it comes in the mail in his name, he signs the back. His handwriting is not very legible these days, but he signs it. I sign my name under his, put POA after my name and deposite it in the bank in a checking acct. that is in my name only. I use this money for food, clothing, personal spending, etc. I keep no records of what I spend it for other than checks written from that acct. I have my husband's verbal approval to do this, for what that's really worth from an AD patient. AM I DOING SOMETHING WRONG???? I have letters from his primary care Dr. and his Neurologist that he is unable to make financial decisions due to AD, but I have never tried to get his SS check put in my name. My husband has even told me to sign his name, but as long as he has the ability to sign I insist on him signing it. I have often wondered what would happen if he COULDN'T sign it. His State Teacher's Retirement comes in the mail also and my name is actually on it with his and has POA after my name because he lost a check about a year ago when he was still getting the mail and I had to call STRS and fax them my POA and Dr. letters and since then my name AND his has been on the check. He could probably cash it without my signature, but he can't even get to the bank without me. I sure hope I am not doing anything wrong on the SS check.

    Jayne
    • CommentAuthorbarbarakay
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2007
     
    Jayne,
    Thanks you gave me some food for thought about the pension. What is wrong or right I don't know. POA works for most things, if you fight long enough. Gene hasn't been able to write his name for over a year now. Poor guy, he is so lost. He is aware he doesn't know how to do anything. It makes me so sad when he tries to talk about it. The letters from the Doctors are the next thing on the list I need to do. I have put a lot of things on the computer, ie. accounts, stocks, etc. They don't know who is behind the computer.

    SS doesn't reconize POA, so if they ever look at the endorsement they may make you change to Receiver Payee.

    My husband first wife cash all his stock and bonds that only had his name on them. All his lawyer said was well she did it. His safe deposit box only had his Social Security card and birth certificate.

    Well on with the fun and games.
    Barbarakay
    • CommentAuthorcrstrob
    • CommentTimeOct 19th 2007
     
    When my husband was approved for S.S. disability three years ago (at the age of 59), the psychologist assigned by S.S. who tested him for the disability told me that he was recommending Chuck for disability and also that my husband would not be able to handle his financial matters. At that time, Chuck had only been diagnosed with MCI and I was devastated with his recommendation/diagnosis, although it meant we didn't have to go through the process again and we didn't have to hire a lawyer. Within a month or so, Chuck was approved. I was told I would have to fill out an annual report of my spending of his money, but since we had always had our money together, I did not have to get another account. The reporting is really very simple. I do keep a spreadsheet of all his meds and have our spending on Quicken but the form itself groups a lot of stuff together and is simple to do. You don't have to turn in any receipts (although I keep them just in case). I know each year I dread receiving the form but then realize that once again it isn't a horrible thing to fill out...it's pretty generic. I hope this helps alleviate worry for those who haven't received the form yet.

    crstrob
    • CommentAuthorDave S
    • CommentTimeOct 19th 2007
     
    It helps knowing that this 'form' SS sends out isn't too big a deal. Although I was able to get everything I needed from SS for 11 years concerning my wife's disability, with the last phone call I had with them, they decided that she needed a 'payee' rep. Since that is taken care of, hopefully, anything that I need over the phone concerning my wife now will be given to me.

    Dave S.
    • CommentAuthorAnn*
    • CommentTimeOct 19th 2007
     
    If ad spouses S.S. check auto.goes into joint account why can't you just write checks using all or any of the joint money? I'm the only one that ever writes checks and no one has ever questioned it.I did not know it could be a problem.
    • CommentAuthorcrstrob
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2007
     
    Ann, you can do just that. Chuck's money goes into our joint account and I write the checks for whatever comes up. The annual report is to "prove" that you are spending the amount received through S.S. for your spouse's benefit. You can even count vacations for you and your spouse as a legitimate use of the money.
    • CommentAuthorBarbJ
    • CommentTimeOct 29th 2007
     
    I''m not understanding why S.S. has to know anything at all! My husband had his checks sent to the bank long before he was dx'd wih AD and I've never thought a thing about keeping records on how it's spent. It's a joint account and my check goes in there too, but I do have another account and I pay a lot of our bills out of whichever has the most in it at the time. Since when is a spouse not supposed to help support the other? He has an IRA and I did have it taken care of so that he can't call them and ask them to send him any money, I am now the custodian of that account. They told me that I can withdraw money at any time as long as it's a reasonable amount. I hope I never have to touch it for any reason other than if he has to go into a home, and then I would have to, but they didn't question me when I sent in the doctors letter saying DH was no longer able to handle his money. DH is obcessed that he is going to lose his money, and dreams about it, thinking he dropped it out of his pocket in a forrest, and each day saying he's sorry he lost it, but when I reassure him that he didn't lose it, then he wants to take it all out and have it in his hand and then take it to a bank. That would be a huge mistake, and even though he can't dial the phone, who knows that one day he wouldn't have enough clarity to dial it and ask them to send it all to him, so that's why I had myself made the custodial of that account. They also allowed me to add beneficiaries after I die, and didn't ask me anything about what relationship they were or anything, but it is our five children between us. I am in much worse physical health than he is so I thought I needed to make that designation so the money wouldn't go into probate if I die first, if there is any left by the time he dies. It is taken care of that way in our will, but this way is better protection against probate. I don't understand why some of you are having to get anything at all from S.S. and I wish you would explain it more.
    • CommentAuthorbarbarakay
    • CommentTimeOct 29th 2007
     
    BarbJ,
    The reason I had to become representative payee is because I wanted to change the account the SS direct deposit went into. If I had not had to make any changes it would not have been a problem. I don't think it will be hard to account for SS dollars with today's expenses. I had it go to our other Joint checking account. One less checkbook to balance and manage.
    • CommentAuthordivvi*
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2008
     
    I was reading this topic and am also surprised to hear about rep payee. is this only for SSI when the spouse is disabled and collecting disability earlier than 62yrs or 65yr due to alz? my husband has been getting for yrs his reg soc sec he got at 65yr direct deposited into our joint acct to pay bills etc.even before the AD i have durabl POA to make financial decisions on what our monies are used for..and have been paying our living expenses out of these accts for yrs. he doesnt sign the check its just deposited. i was just wondering as well, if anything is amiss as far as legalities? thanks for a late input!
    • CommentAuthorJane
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2008
     
    Divvi,
    Representative Payee is not for disability reasons or age reasons, it is when a person is unable due to physical or mental conditions, to handle their own affairs, or a child underage. All Alzheimer patients at some time during the process of the disease will become incompetent and therefore unable to handle their affairs. The reason some are required to have a payee representative is because they have reached the time they can not longer do this.
    • CommentAuthorWatchman
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2008
     
    I've been a Representative Payee for my wife ever since she has been getting SS disability. One of the things that SS indicates is that the Representative Payee needs to keep the funds seperate, in other words not to co-mingle funds. I checked with SS on this issue as both my wife and I are on the household checking account. They advised me that with a husband and wife situation funds can be co-mingled in one account. The rule is setup for those Representative Payees who are not related such as a husband and wife. If one of the children, or a sister/brother/mother become a Representative Payee then seperate accounts are a requirement, as far as Social Security is concerned.

    I keep track of the expenditures via an Excel spreadsheet. If I go grocery shopping, one half is hers to pay, likewise the mortgage, homeowners insurance, and any miscellanous expendatures. Her doctor visits and medications are not divided. They are strictly hers and only she pays for them.

    At the end of the year, or there abouts, SS will send you paperwork wanting to know how the funds were spent on behalf of the disabled person. More than likely, as I have seen in my case, her expenses have always be more than what she got for the year. If for some reason, all the funds were not used up, you must setup a seperate savings account and deposit the excess of the funds sent in that account. I think that happened to me around the second year of her receiving her SS disability. The following year, those funds were used for her care.

    Because my wife, who I might mention is who I care for and a Representative Payee for, has had expendatures that exceed what she has been sent, I just add the two totals together and divide each into the total to come up with the percentage. I then use that percentage on what she did receive to come up with an accurate figure for her housing and food, and miscellanous expenses.
    • CommentAuthorbaltobob
    • CommentTimeFeb 23rd 2008
     
    I am Representative Payee for my wife's SS. Watchman pretty much has described the situation perfectly. The funds go directly into an account that is in my name FBO (For benefit of) her name. Since we are husband and wife and live together, my understanding that the money can be used for any reasonable household expense as well as the specific expenses of hers such as medical, prescription and insurances.

    The annual report from SS is very simple. You only need to lump how much was spent for frood and housing and how much was for other things including medical and recreation.
    • CommentAuthordecblu
    • CommentTimeFeb 25th 2008
     
    I have been a rep payee since E was diagnosed. They told me from SS also to keep the money separate. I find that this is probably the best "proof" as to where the funds go as you have it on record just for that money.

    Just a hint here- a lawyer advised me it was best to have the other monies into my name only. Otherwise if he ever has to go in a nursing home,etc... the total joint assets may be more at large .
    • CommentAuthorRae Ann
    • CommentTimeJul 22nd 2008
     
    I came across this while roaming around the site. I have a question. According to SSD you can use the SSD Benefits for things such as a home mortgage , car payments, car insurance etc as long as these are owned by the beneficiary. This is pretty straight forward, my next question.....if the house is transferred to me by means of a a Grant Trust and then from me to my trust (this is being done to get the house out of his name), but the actual mortage is in both names, just like a credit card, can I use SSD Benefits to pay the mortgage?

    The second part of this.....I will be quiting my full time employment to care for my husband which means no income for me, can the benefits from SSD be used for maintaining all of our household?
    • CommentAuthorcarosi*
    • CommentTimeJul 22nd 2008
     
    Because of my Hubby's learning Disabilities and Mental Illness, he went on SSD in 1988 and the Soc. Sec. Admin. set his case up with me as his Representative Payee. His check had to be deposited to a savings account in his name (I'm co-owner). I set it up that the bulk of the check automatically on deposit is then transferred to our joint checking account and I pay the bills. I can access the rest when needed. I explained to him when they set up his account that when people with certain kinds of disabilities, like his, get to have SSD, the Soc. Sec. people can't check each case and say "he can handle his money", and "she can't", so they give anyone with that kind of Disability a Rep. Payee. Once a year I complete the Rep. Payee report. They send the Document with the total of what they've paid for/to him. I answer the questions, no I haven't committed any felonies, yes the living arrangements have stayed the same, and then I report on the portions of his award that were used for his food, shelter, etc and for his clothes, medical, entertainment, etc (2 entries). Since his award doesn't cover the actual 1/2 of expenses that are his, I percent my entries. I have the proof available to show if requested, but it hasn't been yet.
    What I don't know is if I'll have to continue the reports now that they've converted him to regular Soc.Sec. I'll know in August, if the repoort form comes.
    • CommentAuthorSunshyne
    • CommentTimeJul 23rd 2008
     
    Rae Ann, you'll need to check this to be sure, but I'd think you could use it to pay "rent".
    • CommentAuthorfrand*
    • CommentTimeJul 23rd 2008
     
    Can't you avoid all these problems by having automatic deposit? If your DS balks, can't you make up something - like you heard neighbors have had mail taken from their mail boxes (guess that would be wonderful if you are dealing with paranoia!)
    •  
      CommentAuthorJudithKB*
    • CommentTimeJul 23rd 2008
     
    My DH is on SSD and he has direct deposit. I never was told anything about forms or spending this money in any specific way, etc. etc. We use it just like we do his retirement pay and pay whatever we want to with it. My former husband also was on SSD and we did likewise. Maybe it is because his SSD had nothing to do with his AD but his lungsand heart condition. This is the first I ever heard of having to use it for specific items.
    • CommentAuthorpollyp53
    • CommentTimeJul 23rd 2008
     
    Rae Ann,

    I am a representative payee for my DH. The reason why is because of the amount of dementia he has and had at the time we applied in 2006. I just filled out the yearly form that is required telling them what you spent it on. Yes, you can use it for household expenses which include rent, food, clothing and recreation. I just put down that I use it toward our mortgage payment. I took a leave of absence from my job last summer and it came in handy. Now I use it for maintaining the house. You just check the appropriate box on the form. I got a call back from social security saying what I declared on the form was fine.

    Polly
    • CommentAuthorAnn*
    • CommentTimeJul 23rd 2008
     
    Automatic deposit into a joint checking account as someone already mentioned
    is the easiest (I think the best) way to go on this.This is the way ours has been for 15 years with no problem.
    • CommentAuthorRae Ann
    • CommentTimeJul 23rd 2008
     
    My husbands benefits are deposited directly into our joint check account. I guess, I'll be alright, just don't want to mess anythng up. It seems as there are so many, rules, regulations etc that you have to follow to a T or it could mess up something else.

    I didn't know that I had to account for how his benefits were used. Here I am 6 months later trying to pull up bank statements, receipts etc in order to fill out the monthly form, which I think is used to fill out the annual report. I'm just so new to all this it is over whelming.

    If it isn't filling out DPOA, MD's, trusts, etc, it's something else. I hope to have this all under control before I lose my mind! Would like to spend more time with my husband while he still has some ability rather than come home and try to figure out all this paper work.

    Thanks to all of you for your input, perhaps I'm reading into this much more than I should. Just want to be on the up and up with everything.
  2.  
    Rae Ann, when I filled out the yearly report I just put down a dollar amount that would pay for the mortgage for the year and the rest was spent on food, medicines, etc...they never ask for any specific information. I always made sure I zeroed the amount out....I think being married the concern is not as great as if the representative payee was a "friend" or a conservator who was appointed by the courts. Don't drive yourself crazy over it....not a big deal...
    • CommentAuthorSunshyne
    • CommentTimeJul 23rd 2008
     
    Rae Ann, have you actually been designated as a "representative payee" or do you just have your name on the joint account? So far, I don't have to file any reports etc, because SS hasn't been notified my husband has limited cognitive abilities. Sooner or later, I'll have to file for representative payee, but until then ... life is much more simple.
    • CommentAuthorRae Ann
    • CommentTimeJul 23rd 2008
     
    Sunshyne: I'm the designated "representative payee" and the benefits are deposited directly into our joint checking account.
    • CommentAuthorporkhck
    • CommentTimeDec 19th 2009 edited
     
    Leave it to the goverment to make things so complicated. I f it's going into a joint account and all you do is fill out a report what's the big deal.
    • CommentAuthorbriegull*
    • CommentTimeDec 19th 2009
     
    OKAY. My husband's is in his own account, not the "household" one. Always has been. I sign on it too. Do I have to notify SS that he's not competent? that I have POA? I don't have any problem with describing what I use it for, but why do I need to do anything?
    •  
      CommentAuthordeb112958
    • CommentTimeDec 19th 2009
     
    briegull,

    I don't think you need to do anything. I am my husband's representative payee only because SS required it when he was approved for disability. As long as his check is being direct deposited, I don't see what the problem would be.
  3.  
    Briegull, if you haven't been appointed the "representative payee", I don't think you have to do anything. When we applied for the Social Security Disability and he was approved the agent at the SS office said that due to his diagnosis of EOAD they would need to appoint me as the "representative payee." So, it was done at the time of approval. Like I said, it is not a big deal to fill the one page form out and send it back every year. No one ever questioned anything.
    • CommentAuthorcarosi*
    • CommentTimeDec 19th 2009 edited
     
    Briegull--What Sandi* said. When my DH was approved for SSDI in 1988 because of his learning Disabilities and mental illness, they appointed me his Designated Payee. Their instructions to me were that the funds had to go into an account 'in his name;' and I would be asked to account for where the funds went each year. Since then his check is direct deposited and I have most of it autmatically transfered to our joint (but attached to my Credit Union Acct)checking, and then I pay the bills. When he hit full retirement age they automatically transferred him to regular Social Security and continued the direct depositing. They have also continued the yearly accounting report--probably because the nature of his situation has not changed.

    If you are not his Designated Payee, you don't have to do the report form. As a co-owner of the account, you can direct the funds where you need them to go.
    •  
      CommentAuthorgmaewok*
    • CommentTimeDec 19th 2009
     
    When my DH was approved for SSDI they said he had to have a representative payee. However, I told them his checks for early retirement had always gone into our joint savings account and I really didn't want to be Rep Payee. They said as long as I was able to do it that way they wouldn't insist on a payee. That way I've been able to use the funds as I need and not had to fill out the yearly report. The yearly report really is simple but I just didn't want to bother with it. I may have to change that when he goes on medicaid in a few months.
    • CommentAuthorZibby*
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2010
     
    My hb receives a small ss check deposited directly into our joint account. He knows and understands this. He never writes checks; hasn't had anything to do with our finances for a very long time, but his name has been on the checking account since we originated it years ago. I did discover he has less than $1000 in a 403b that I doubt he remembers, and I haven't told him. Our elder law attorney said we might as well cash it in and deposit $ in an account for him. Hb can sign his name and answer short, simple questions. Attorney also suggested becoming his representative payee for ss and depositing it in that new account. Social security doesn't know about hb's health. I don't want to set up a separate account for hb now OR become rep payee now. From reading here, submitting a yearly report doesn't seem so bad, but opening an account for a small amount of $ that will be used to pay bills AND banking fees because the account will be so small doesn't seem logical. What's the penalty for co-mingling $? I'm trying to decide what's best for us at this time, and questioning the attorney seems to put him on the defensive. From what I've read here, even back to 2007, makes me think we're fine as we are for now. Any thoughts?
    •  
      CommentAuthordeb112958
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2010 edited
     
    I don't think you would need to become his representative payee. As long as you are handling the finances and he doesn't have access to the funds, I don't see what the problem would be. I am my husband's representative payee ONLY because Social Security required it when he was approved for his disability. His pension checks go into our regular joint checking account. My husband hasn't written a check in years--even before the FTD. Whenever he needed cash he used to just tell me how much he needed, and I would withdraw it for him. He never liked to carry a lot of cash because he said that it would "disappear" on things he didn't need. lol
  4.  
    I fully understand how difficult it is trying to make decisions about financial matters and deciding about representative payees, so I would like to volunteer my assistance to all of you. Please feel free to make me your representative payee, or to let me handle all your finances. Your financial worries and bank accounts will disappear instantly, and you will not have to ever worry about it again.
    I can also assist anyone to "spend down" their assets so that can qualify for any government programs. I may be going out on a limb here, but I will also offer to relieve you of all your financial worries...the only worry you will have will be finding a homeless shelter. I can accept cash, credit cards, checks, 3rd party out of town checks, stocks, bonds, debit cards, prepaid cards, gift cards, jewelry, barter, titles, certificates of origin, deeds, iou's, aqnd almost anything else. Sorry, I cannot accept anything that eats.
    • CommentAuthorZibby*
    • CommentTimeJan 21st 2010
     
    Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that some time back hb DID get his own credit card and went wild. After I learned about that, cut up card, put the company on notice. He gets a wee allowance, and is okay w/$ now. BUT, if he knew he had "his" account, I expect we'd be in trouble again. Thanks for the generous offer, Phranque, but it doesn't seem quite "right." lol
    • CommentAuthorporkhck
    • CommentTimeJan 26th 2010
     
    Do you need representative payee if they should ever need title 19? Will they wonder why you never got it?
    • CommentAuthorZibby*
    • CommentTimeJan 26th 2010
     
    Title 19 is a new one for me. What is it?
    • CommentAuthorZibby*
    • CommentTimeJan 26th 2010 edited
     
    Aha! A little research, and I learn Title 19 is Medicaid. I don't know if I'll need rep payee if we come to Medicaid (Title 19). Help! Will I have to have it? Probably so. Raise ?s if I'm not? We've mostly just had $ in one pot--until recently when I've been moving $ into my name only accounts. Seems several of our readers have done the same.
  5.  
    Title XIX is about Grants to States for medical assistance programs. (medicaid, etc.)
    • CommentAuthorcarosi*
    • CommentTimeJan 26th 2010
     
    The Representative Payee is for protecting the impaired recipient by tracking the spending of the money issued on their behalf, authorized by or actually spent by the Representative. Not related to enrolling, or receiving Medicaid benefits. A DPOA or Guardianship might relate, as an authorized person acting on recipient's behalf to authorize treatment or apply for benefits.
    • CommentAuthorporkhck
    • CommentTimeJan 27th 2010
     
    How soon after love one is diagnosed should you file for representative payee?
    • CommentAuthorporkhck
    • CommentTimeJan 27th 2010
     
    I just got him to sign durable power of attorney. Should I wait to file for representative payee?
    •  
      CommentAuthordeb112958
    • CommentTimeJan 27th 2010
     
    porkhck,

    I don't think you need to file to be representative payee. I'm only representative payee because Social Security insisted on it when he was approved for SSDI.
    • CommentAuthorJane
    • CommentTimeJan 27th 2010 edited
     
    porkhck,
    NO Medicaid will not wonder why you have not already been appointed Payee representative. That is up to his Doctor and Social Security.