Does The SSA Need To Change The Way It Pays?

Currently there are two major ways that the Social Security Administration pays claimants of Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance. SSA either pays the beneficiary directly or it pays a representative payee. This allows the Administration to help people with disabilities who can’t manage their benefits themselves, but a new study questions if the SSA is going about this the right way.

Does The SSA Need To Change The Way It Pays?Photo of a Couple Reviewing Paperwork with Their Disability Attorney

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine just released a report studying the payee structure of the SSA, and the Institute doesn’t like what it sees. The report says that the SSA doesn’t have a clear set of procedures to establish whether or not a beneficiary is capable of managing their finances, nor does it have a procedure in place to determine if a claimant might lose the ability to manage their own funds.

What Problems Does A Lack Of Procedure Cause?

Since the SSA is missing such critical procedures, the Institute found that SSA determinations of incapability were often inconsistent. For example, the study found that some individuals determined incapable to manage their SSI benefits were found capable of managing their SSDI benefits and vice-versa. Some 3.5 million people receiving disability benefits have been determined as incapable to manage their funds, but the study casts doubt on whether these people can handle their funds or not.

The committee that produced this report is recommending that the SSA develop and put into place procedures to clean up the mess this lack of oversight may have caused. Do you think their advice will be heeded? Will these changes affect your SSI and SSDI benefits in the future? Keep following our blog for these answers and more information about Social Security.


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