Becoming a representative payee for social security. Any advice?

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Hello, my mother is unable to manage her social security benefits due to a compulsive gambling problem that has gone on for more than 20 years. She has lost two homes, has filed for bankruptcy twice, and is currently living in subsidized senior housing. She has tried counseling and treatment and nothing has worked. She is in danger of being evicted from her apartment complex as her rent has been habitually late. My brother and I appealed to Social Security to allow us to become representative payees - they permitted it and then my mom found out and two weeks later she changed the payments back to herself. We have contacted Social Security again and they are telling us that they need a doctor's note, but what I don't understand (and what they are not helping us with) is what a doctor can and should so in a letter. My understanding is that healthcare privacy laws will prevent him from even talking to us.
So, in short, I am hoping someone has experience with becoming a representative payee for their parent's social security who is unable (for whatever reason) to manage their money. I understand that we have to use the money responsibly and pay her rent, bills, etc.
Thank you!

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Early girl, you need to pursue Guardianship. It's the only safe way, it is a court order that gives you control.
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As for the letter from the doc, mom may have signed the HIPAA paperwork and maybe ha can do something. Even if she hasn't, write him a detailed letter explaining what you need and ask for the letter. Maybe you'll get it. Also, ask him to review her meds because some can turn on this gambling problem, as wad mentioned in another thread earlier today. Also, could the doc give her some that could control any OCD symptoms? I'm assuming she gambles at a casino. In NV a gambler with a problem can have himself voluntarily "86d" from the casino. That means they won't let him in the casino. Addicts give the industry a bad name, so they say. Since she's tried kicking this before, maybe she'd be willing. Longshot I know, but try that. Would she be willing to gave an automatic deduction from her direct deposit SS check to your account so you can make sure that her part of the rent gets paid? If not, take her down to the local women's shelter where she's going to end up when evicted due to this medical problem.
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Social Security has a pamphlet that explains the procedure for becoming a representative payee and the duties and record keeping required. It may be available on line, but if not, you can call the office and ask to have it mailed to you.
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