Celebrating Those Who Provide Care: Social Security’s Representative Payee Program
According to the Census Bureau, there are nearly 57 million people living with disabilities in the United States. Thirty percent of American adults help provide care for a sick or disabled family member.
Social Security works closely with caregivers through our Representative Payee Program. A representative payee is someone who receives and oversees the Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for an adult or child who cannot manage his or her benefits. You can learn more about our Representative Payee Program at www.socialsecurity.gov/payee.
A representative payee is usually a trusted family member or friend of the beneficiary, but when friends or family are not able to serve as representative payees, Social Security looks for qualified individuals or organizations to represent the beneficiary. You can learn about becoming a representative payee by watching our new series of training videos on the duties of a representative payee at www.socialsecurity.gov/payee/rp_training2.html.
Receiving HUD Benefits? A Trip to Social Security May Not be Necessary
Social Security is constantly evolving to make doing business with us easier. If your client is currently receiving benefits from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and is reapplying for benefits, or is assisting someone with their application, a trip to a Social Security office is probably not necessary — even if verification of Social Security benefits is needed. Because of a data exchange established between Social Security and HUD, most people do not need to contact Social Security for a benefit verification letter. HUD administrators processing a Recertification Application for Housing Assistance can use their Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) System to verify Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits.
If your client is a new applicant for housing assistance, they can provide their HUD administrator with their Social Security award letter, Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) notice, SSA-1099, or other Social Security benefit document.
In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry in all states and have their marriage recognized by other states. This decision made it possible for more same-sex couples and their families to benefit from our programs.
We now recognize same-sex couples’ marriages in all states, and some non-marital legal relationships (such as some civil unions and domestic partnerships), for purposes of determining entitlement to Social Security benefits and Medicare, and eligibility and payment amount for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). We also recognize same-sex marriages and some non- marital legal relationships established in foreign jurisdictions for purposes of determining entitlement to Social Security benefits and Medicare, and SSI.
Social Security is committed to treating all Americans fairly. This commitment extends to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people covered by Social Security’s many programs. We encourage anyone who believes they may be eligible for benefits to apply now. Learn more at www.socialsecurity.gov/same-sexcouples.