My grandmother has been misusing my funds ever since I started to get social security benefits for disability at 14 years old. She was my representative payee and claimed it was “her money” and she didnt have to use any of it for my needs. I am now 18 and I never thought to take action as I believed she was right. I’ve recently come to find out she was wrong that whole entire time. Every single month and every single year up until September of this year 2018 she has taken my benefits and used them for herself. I would continuously ask her for new clothes and food but she would never buy me anything I needed. She had my brother, sister and I in her custody and she would always take all of our money to use for herself. We barely ever had food or new clothes and she would rarely pay rent or the bills for our apartment(s). I just want to know how to go about this. I want something to be done, I now only get 500 a month and I’m currently pregnant and staying place to place. 500 is not enough for any apartment rent or down payments or anything. I’m just really worried and I don’t know what to do. I want to get some restitution from all of the money she has stolen over the last 4 years.
Did you LIVE with your grandmother? If so, the money is generally to be used to pay for the roof over your head, your food, transportation, hot water for showers/baths, electricity used to heat your living space. Unless you paid that amount on your own so your benefits were not needed for that, it was her job to use those benefits for your survival needs. I am not seeing, from your facts presented, any reason to believe anything was stolen, since she was obligated to use the money for your basic needs before throwing it towards non-essentials.
Now, if there were months that you moved out and she had your benefits, that could be something.
As for the $500/month, if that is from SSI or SSD, it will end soon unless you can prove you are disabled from working, which you don't suggest. Fortunately, you can earn far more than than even if you have not honed your skills beyond the minimum wage arena, and once you gain some experience and get yourself further training, you can go to great places.
Stephanie O. Joy, Esq., of JoyDisability, is an attorney licensed in New Jersey, but currently practicing federal Social Security Disability law in all 50 states from her PA office. JoyDisability also provides pre-CDR services exclusive of representation and consultations on non-disability matters, including retirement issues . Answers to questions HERE, however, are for general purposes only.
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