You’ve been receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) either for yourself or on behalf of someone else. While the monthly checks help you cover your expenses, now you’re wondering: Am I using them correctly? Here’s some more information on spending your SSI money – or a beneficiary’s money – so you can have peace of mind.
Spending Your Own SSI Money
Technically, you can spend your SSI money any way you choose, as long as you are receiving the money for yourself (and your spouse). Since payouts for SSI aren’t that large, you may find that they only cover your basic expenses like rent, utilities, car payments, and your cell phone bill.
Spending Money as a Representative Payee
You may be in charge of a beneficiary’s SSI money. The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Representative Payment Program designates a “payee” on behalf of the beneficiary to manage funds. If you are a representative payee, then there are limits on how you can spend SSI funds. After spending money on the beneficiary’s basic needs like food, shelter, clothing, and medical and dental bills, you can then spend it on other things to make the beneficiary’s life more comfortable.
Representative Payees are responsible for keeping records of how much money was earned and how those funds are spent. Large past-due SSI payments for more than six months of benefits need to be kept in a separate “dedicated account.” The SSA’s Protection and Advocacy System has the right to review your records at any time.
Working With Schott Law
If you need help with SSI matters, Schott Law is here for you. Maggie Schott is an SSDI & SSI lawyer serving Washington and Idaho. Contact us now at (509) 328-5789 to start your application.