The New, User-Friendly Social Security Administration

Social security changesCould the Social Security Administration actually be attempting to become more user-friendly with quicker response times in order to provide special services and work-arounds that better respond to the pressing needs of its citizens?

Some years ago, Social Security officials saw that the long waiting time for decisions on disability applications was resulting in severe hardship for the seriously ill. As a consequence, the agency established the Compassionate Allowances List. This program’s goal is to swiftly grant disability status to those who suffer from any of the 225 serious medical conditions on the list. They include rare diseases, cancers, traumatic brain injury, stroke, early onset Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disease, multiple organ transplants and autoimmune diseases.

The Social Security Administration says that folks who can show they suffer from any of these afflictions will receive approval in weeks rather than months or years. This new display of compassion on the part of a bureaucracy is commendable; the stated goals of the agency is to do more for its beneficiaries.

Here is one of the programs designed to assist you with helping your loved ones manage their Social Security benefits :

  • If you see that a loved one isn’t good at managing money, Social Security can help with its Representative Payee Program. It matches people who require assistance managing their finances with people who are willing and able to help them.
  • Social Security will typically look to family members or friends to serve as representative payees. If no one is available, they work with social service agencies to locate people to serve as representative payees.
  • The payee takes control of the benefits sent to the person by Social Security, and the payee manages the money for the needs of that person. The payee has to maintain records and submit reports of his or her actions to Social Security.

If you're concerned that a loved one has become incapable of managing or directing the management of his or her benefits, speak with an elder law attorney who focuses their practice in helping families to create disability planning for their elderly loved ones .  We’d be happy to help you with that either by requesting a consultation online or by calling us to schedule this complimentary consultation at 757-259-0707.

Reference: AARP (August 2016) “Discover Little-Known Social Security Benefits”



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