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WEBINAR: Improving SSA’s Representative Payee Program

July 19, 2016

When: Tuesday, August 2, 2016 2:00 p.m. ET

The Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) Representative Payee program is critical for ensuring that older adults who cannot manage their own finances have the necessary support to age in dignity.

Over the past year, SSA has undertaken a comprehensive examination of its Representative Payee Program, making this a very critical time for advocacy. Justice in Aging has also worked with advocates across the country to address the major issues facing the Representative Payee Program as they specifically relate to older adults. In this Justice in Aging webinar, we explored the issues in depth and provided educational materials for advocates who are interested in learning more about the Representative Payee Program.

Major Issues in the Rep Payee Program:

  • problems with the capability determination process, or how SSA decides that a beneficiary cannot manage or direct the management of their benefits;
  • the need for SSA to recruit more payees considering the growing aging population;
  • SSA’s responsibility and need to provide more in depth and improved training and education for payees;
  • the lack of adequate monitoring and oversight of payees.

There are a host of additional issues, but the project has primarily focused on these four areas. There have been countless instances where beneficiaries, older adults in particular, have experienced unnecessary barriers to proper safekeeping and spending their funds. In light of this reality, there is a great need to ensure that these individuals are not victims of financial exploitation or other forms of elder abuse. This is why advocacy is so important right now.

Advocates can access the materials now via the Representative Payee Toolkit. We encourage organizations, attorneys in private practice, and caregivers to utilize the materials from this toolkit to bolster local, state, and federal advocacy efforts.

Shana Wynn, Borchard Fellow, Justice in Aging

The webinar took place on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 2:00 p.m. ET.

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