I am representative payee. What legal rights do I have? - AgingCare.com

I am representative payee. What legal rights do I have?

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My adult daughter with cerebral palsy lives with me. Her conservators live 3 h. away. Can I sign for her medical care?

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I have run across this with my husband's care. I am rep-payee. But unless he is cooperative, I have no power whatsoever, and HIPPA laws have messed this up, big time.
I am at a loss, because he has the ability to commit, (but not pay for) huge medical expenses if not covered by his insurance. SSDI pays almost enough for food and rent, little else. To have an 'autonomous' adult in the home, without powers to limit or help the person can be a living sentence to prison. imop.
Would definitely need an attorney, and the funds to pay to fix this mess.
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You need a medical power of attorney. Who has this now? If no one, pay a legal fee to draft, notarize, and document the POA. However, if the conservators have this power, don't go against that. Get their permission. They might be willing to cooperate with you having the medical power of attorney, however are you qualified?

I can see now why you may need legal help.
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LindaSusan, Just proceed, as her mother, looking out for her interests, needs and wants. If anything major comes up, like permission for a surgery, notify her conservators, ask them who should sign.
I found that you have very little rights or authority as rep-payee, but a whole lot of responsibility to spend and report accurately and appropriately to social security.

Those funds from social security and ssi are what you are responsible for.

Any other earnings, income, assets, etc are the purview of her conservators. If her needs are not being provided for by her conservators, speak up. Even though it may not be you appointed as her conservator, get someone competent.

To do that, if you were in Southern California, I would refer you to Bet Tzedek, attorneys who take on legal cases, often pro bono, or on a sliding scale.

Often, there is help by contacting the associations and foundations for a specific disease, online.
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Thanks, Pamstegma. Wasn't my post but I never knew for sure how a conservator fit into the total picture. I just read a few days ago that conservator and guardian are pretty much the same thing but it's good to know it can be separated - finances from medical.
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You can sign for her health care as her mother, certainly, unless the court has appointed a Guardian of the Person. The conservator is only Guardian of the Estate (money).
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LindaSusan - my son is an only child. I consciously made that decision. Every now and then I regret the decision as once my husband and I are gone there will be no one to look after my son. Would a brother or sister have filled that role? No guarentees and not a reason to have a baby. I'm sorry your daughters sister is not fully meeting the obligations that she must have agreed to do. I know in situations with the elderly and some disabled individuals one can get a limited/specific Power of Attorney - to give authority in a specific area only, like finances or health. I don't know how it works with a conservatorship and it would also depend on your disabled daughters cognitive functions - but is it possible for you to be granted something along those lines - that would allow you to legally make medical decisions? Perhaps you could consult with the attorney who drew up the conservatorship?
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Her sister and brother in law are her conservators. But I make all of her decisions for her, conservators are not much help despite my many requests to do their job. It's very frustrating. she has many many health conditions.
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Who is your daughters legal guardian - the conservator is often considered to be the same role/function. If that is the case, then no, you can not legally sign for her. Being Represenitive Payee merely allows you to deposit and I believe, write checks. When my disabled son turned 18 I was told I could be paid to care for him but NOT
if I was his guardian. It wasn't worth it to me - to turn over the decision making in regards to any aspect of his life. So, I am Rep Payee, guardian along with my husband and trustee for his irrevocable special needs trust.
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