Video instructions and help with filling out and completing Which Form 5495 Representatives

Instructions and Help about Which Form 5495 Representatives

Hello my name is Nancy Webb I work for the Social Security Administration in the office responsible for representative payee policy thank you for taking time out of your busy day to join us for this webinar at the end of the webinar I'm going to tell you how you can help us with a critical issue that will benefit people with mental impairments in your community before I describe the issue let me give you a brief overview of what we at Social Security do the Social Security Administration is an independent federal government agency that administers two major benefit programs the largest of these programs is the retirement survivors and disability insurance program many people refer to this program as Social Security people with disabilities and their families know it as Social Security disability insurance or SSDI the other program is the Supplemental Security income program or SSI Social Security is a program that protects workers and their families from a loss of earnings because of retirement death or disability we base the amount of benefits on the workers earnings over a specified period a worker or his family can receive benefits when the worker retires becomes disabled or dies SSI on the other hand is a needs-based program to receive SSI payments a person must be age 65 or older blind or disabled and must have limited income and resources more than 7 million people who get monthly Social Security or SSI benefits need help managing their benefits as you can imagine many of our beneficiaries have a mental illness and some of these individuals find it difficult to manage their money for individuals who cannot manage their own money we appoint a representative payee to handle their benefits and to make sure that their needs are met when selecting a representative payee we usually ask a beneficiary's family or friends to apply however some beneficiaries don't have the traditional support network so we turn to state local or community resources to act as their representative payee sometimes it's difficult to locate individuals or organizations who will take on the responsibility of handling another person's money in the last several years especially we've had a real pressing need to find responsible and competent individuals or organizations to serve as payees this is where you may be able to help as members of the mental health field you recognize the unique challenges of helping those with mental illness we're looking for responsible and caring people like you to become a representative payee for those individuals who do not have family or friends to help them if you're willing to serve as a representative payee you'll take on an important responsibility one that can make a positive difference in the beneficiary's life as well as yours before you volunteer to help us let me take a minute to explain what a representative payee does the basic responsibilities of the payee is to use the individual social security check to meet the needs of the beneficiary first the payee must ensure that the beneficiary has adequate clothing housing food and medical care we issued the beneficiaries cheque to the payee actually with a special check legend like Mary Smith for Jon Jones the payee must use the money to make sure that the beneficiary's day-to-day needs are met and then to pay for any medical or dental care not covered by insurance if those needs are met the payee may spend the money to improve the beneficiary's daily living conditions or for better better medical care second the payee must save any extra money in a savings account there's any money left over after paying those essential bills the payee must save it preferably in an interest-bearing account we have special rules for setting up that count and there are also specific limits on assets and income for SSI beneficiaries for example an SSI recipient usually can have no more than $2,000 and resources to be eligible for a payment for a couple on SSI the limit is $3,000 third the payee needs to file an annual accounting form with us explaining how the beneficiaries money was used representative payees are responsible for keeping records on how they spend the benefits and then reporting to us at least once a year fourth the payee must let us know about any events that affect the beneficiary's eligibility to receive benefits and the payee must return any money that a beneficiary is not eligible for we need to know if the beneficiary moves starts working receives other income goes to jail marries or dies if the beneficiary is an SSI recipient the payee would need to report if the recipients resources are over the $2,000 limit it's important to note that that the payee may be responsible for repaying and overpayment if they neglect to report one of these events fifth we need the payee to explain letters and notices from Social Security to the beneficiary and to help them to interact with us we send all of the beneficiaries correspondence to the payee we expect the payee to explain those letters to the beneficiary and to help them complete forms when necessary and finally we expect the payee to frequently communicate with the beneficiary so that the payee understands the beneficiary's needs in addition to the reporting responsibilities I just listed we also encourage representative payees to go beyond managing finances and to become actively involved in the beneficiary's life this includes things such as including the beneficiary and financial decisions and budget discussions helping the beneficiary to find available benefits and services such as food stamps housing subsidies medical assistance and assisting those caseworkers and also negotiating with the beneficiary's landlord and creditors to get more favorable terms if you choose to become a representative payee you'll play a vital role in serving our beneficiaries you will decide how to spend benefits to help create a stable living environment