Congressional Statement of Reid K. Weisbord Regarding Social Security Representative Payee Misuse to United States House Ways and Means Committee (June 5, 2013)
5 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2014
Date Written: June 5, 2013
Hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee Subcommittee on Social Security Wednesday, June 5, 2013. “How Social Security Protects the Benefits of Those Who Cannot Protect Themselves.” Statement of Reid Kress Weisbord, Submitted June 5, 2013, on Social Security Representative Payee Misuse.
Representative payee misuse adversely affects the most vulnerable beneficiaries within the Social Security program and is exceptionally difficult to detect under current agency protocols. Additionally, when the Social Security Administration’s failure to monitor a representative payee results in benefit misuse, SSA is statutorily required to reimburse certain beneficiaries for all misused funds. To reduce the incidence of benefit misuse (and, by extension, to reduce government reimbursement of misused funds), this statement proposes a "family representative" system whereby a concerned family member or friend would be carefully vetted and appointed with authority to monitor the representative payee’s performance. A family representative with first-hand observation of the beneficiary would be in a better position to detect and report benefit misuse than a governmental agency lacking personal contact. This proposal would be essentially cost-free, protect vulnerable beneficiaries, and reduce government spending on benefit misuse reimbursements.
Keywords: Social Security, representative payee, fiduciary, misuse
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