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New Law Protects Recipients of Social Security Disability Benefits

Social Security

New Law Protects Recipients of Social Security Disability Benefits
MPAS to Monitor and Investigate Social Security Funds

Under a new law signed by President Trump, individuals responsible for Social Security payments for people with disabilities will be monitored and investigated by the nation’s Protection & Advocacy (P&A) system. The bill, called the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act (H.R. 4547), will increase independent oversight of the Social Security Administration’s Representative Payee Program.

Through this reform, Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service, Inc. (MPAS) will conduct both representative payee reviews and educational visits.  Reviews verify the representative payee is using the benefits on behalf of the beneficiary and is carrying out their responsibilities correctly.  Educational visits ensure payees fully understand their duties and responsibilities. The Social Security Administration assigns to MPAS the representative payees that are the subject of both reviews and educational visits.  

Through the monitoring of these organizations and individuals who receive Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income for a person who is not capable of managing their own funds, MPAS will help ensure that benefits are being managed appropriately. MPAS, under a previous version of this program, completed 152 investigations, many with recommendations to Social Security for follow-up.

“This new legislation will help protect Michigan residents who are currently being abused and neglected,” said Elmer Cerano, Executive Director of MPAS. “These new measures, which will be carried out by our team of dedicated and experienced advocates, will ensure representative payees are held to a higher standard”.

The Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act also toughens the eligibility requirements for representative payees. For instance, individuals with certain criminal convictions will be banned from serving in this capacity. Under the law, if you have a representative payee, you are not eligible to serve as a payee yourself. The Act also gives beneficiaries more control over their finances by allowing them to list their preferred payee.

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Announcement Details

Posted on:
September 10, 2018