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Social Security Disability Ruling On The Term "Access To Money" For A SSI Claim

Dallas, TX |

Because of my disability I have had to move back in with my elderly parents. They are both living off of their Social Security. My dad had to return to his old job to work half-days because of medical costs for my mom who has COPD. While he is at work during the afternoon, I some times have to drive my mom to her doctors appointments and take her to pick up her medicine. There are other times when she asks me to take her somewhere to "get out of the house". I struggle enough with my own health problems, but I do what I can for my parents. My mom has reached the period in her life where she is not always able to sign their checks (she shakes quite a bit). She is also asleep much of the day and there are many times when I have to buy her something without her getting out of the house.

My parents would like to allow me to sign their checks for those instances when my mom is unable to and my dad is at work. If my name is added as a "signature only" to their account, will that mess with my current SSI claim? I'm afraid the SSA will convert my ability to sign their check as "access to other funds". I don't have access to their funds, just able to sign a check for "payment". I suppose I "could" sign a check to me as cash, but that would be theft (which of course I would never do). I'm just trying to make sure I don't put myself into a situation where the SSA can "get me" based off of a technicality.

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

Your question appears incomplete. You probably want to review it and resubmit.

Any answers provided to questions are for general information only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. You should seek legal advice for your specific situation.

Asker

Posted

It's complete by now. This faulty submission form requires one to submit the opening paragraph, assign the search categories for the question, and then post the question before one is allowed to add additional details. In the time it takes to add additional details, I would imagine people have already read the incomplete question. I have suggested this to be changed several times, but they seem to think differently.

Posted

What you are asking, it seems, is whether you can become a representative payee, and if you do, will that disqualify you from receiving SSI benefits, that you are currently receiving on your own, for your own disability. You will be required to account for all of the money that you receive in this fashion, and show how you spent it for your Mom's benefit, only.
If that is the case, you will probably not be disqualified, form your own SSI, but to be sure, you need to speak with a lawyer near you who handles this kind of case. Use Avvo find a lawyer feature to locate one to help you.

The content of the this submission is intended to provide general information on the topic presented, and is offered with the understanding that the author is not rendering any legal or professional services or advice. This submission is not a substitute for legal advice. Should you require such services, retain competent legal counsel.

Asker

Posted

I think you might have misunderstood my question. There is no money that I would be receiving from anyone. I would simply be able to sign my mom/dad's check in the event I go to the grocery store for them, take my mom to get her medicine, etc. I specifically told the bank I do not want any access to their funds but just to be able to sign their checks. My dad had to initiate this request and both parents had to sign a form to allow me to sign their checks. Does that clear things up?

Michael T Warshaw

Michael T Warshaw

Posted

If you are a co-signer on your parent's bank account that is really no different than being a representative payee and it may be worse. You should really sit down with a local lawyer and go over this in detail.

Posted

I'd consult a Social Security lawyer who knows something about estate planning. A power of attorney and a few other documents would likely be all you need to protect yourself.

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