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His brain is now damaged and can't go to SSA. Before my father became ill, he took care of everything he thought we would need, including naming my mother & me as POAs.
When my father started getting sick, my parents moved to a senior facility. We input change of address forms with the Post Office. They do not provide cards any longer for notifying people so one has to rely on the PO to take care of changes. They only do it for 6 months & then stop. Because my father got really bad within 6 months of moving, he was not mentally able to help us do much, and as things have progressed it has become worse. He is now completely bed bound. The best answers one can get from him are yes and no, but one never knows if that is what he really means. Because his legs have now pulled up in a permanent fetal position (can't even be pulled down), we cannot even get him to a car. If he has to go somewhere, it has to be by ambulance.
This year we did not get tax forms from SSA. So we got a caregiver for Daddy and I loaded Mama and all the legal papers up and we drove to the other side of the county to go to SSA. They refused to give us the tax information or change his address because they "don't recognize powers of attorney". They wanted me to bring Daddy in for him to give them permission to let me do the business. I explained why that was impossible. It did not matter. Does anyone know if this is true? Why would an agency that deals with the aged and/or ill people not recognize a POA? People are encouraged to get things ready for the possibility they may not always be able to handle their own affairs & the main agency for dealing with them refuses to honor the written, notorized wishes of the disabled? It just does not make sense. What really is crazy is the military has helped us get things changed, IRS has changed things for us. All of these Federal agencies recognize the POA. Why not SSA?
Has anyone else run into this issue?

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Unfortunately, yes. I, too, was surprised to find out that Social Security doesn't recognize POA. I ran into that with the VA and other government agencies as well. You may want to ask the attorney who drew up the POA about options since your dad isn't cognitively able to handle these issues. I've always been baffled by these rules, but that's what they are. Good luck with this. We'd really like to find out how you get around this rule.
Take care,
Carol
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Thanks Carol,
SSA told me I have to get a letter from his hospice doctor saying he is unable to do anything. That is in one town. Then I have to take the POA to the county courthouse with the letter & get it certified. It is in a different town. When all of that is done, I take it all back to SSA, in yet a 3rd town, & then they will appoint me as financial guardian. Full time caregivers have lots of time and energy to jump through hoops. It also means one has to hire someone to sit with the home bound while running around. Since I am the only caregiver locally, it is just ridiculous.
Because of this experience, I am taking my mother & husband, who are also disabled, to SSA the next time I go so they can appoint me their financial guardian before hand.
I think it is time for Congress to act. It is ridiculous to cause people these type of problems.
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Unfortunately, the SSA does not recognize POA in any manner. I had to take my disabled 90+ year old dad to the office and sign a paper making me the payee! Although dad wanted a paper check or a banking account in his name only, they would not allow him to do so. Now, I have the burden of keeping a log of every bill that he owes, travel to doctor visits, food, care, etc., and etc. In my opinion, I think it has something to do with the debt that our country is in. SSA wants to make it as difficult as possible for anyone that is not able to handle their own affairs not to be able to collect the money that they paid into SSA all the years of their lives. I wish everyone going through this luck, because in my opinion, we are only going to see things get worse due to our country being in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression!
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Try going on-line to do whatever you need to do. When you do this on-line....well who is to know who types in whatever. Years & years ago, I went with my mom to close down 2 different banks accounts so that all was just in 1 locally based banking group (She had 3 different banks, just too much paperwork, too confusing). One of the old banks got her direct deposit of SSA and her annuity. I went on-line and just changed the direct deposit to the locally based bank routing number. Problem solved with no SSA face-to-face involvement. See if you can do the same. Good luck.
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I had trouble getting a copy of my mother's SS benefits letter that I HAD to have for Medicaid application. Same thing, they did not recognize POA. She has Alzheimer's. They sent her a letter at the nursing home where my sister who lives near her had her sign it then FAXed it to the Medicaid office. Same problem with VA. I am still trying to get her benefits letter from them. I had to make a call back appt. with VA, then he told me one form then said no, a different form. Neither one was specific to my problem. I tried filling out one requesting the info. My sister had my mother sign the form, then FAXed it to VA office. Haven't heard anything. I feel like it is floating in space somewhere. Now what do I do? I have no idea. And what happens when someone can't sign anymore? She has these benefits direct deposited into her accounts but Medicaid won't accept that. It is ridiculous and I agree that Congress should do something. If someone has POA and the person who consented to it is now incapacitated then they NEED that person with POA to be able to do these things for them. Insane bureaucracy!
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I believe that the S.S. Administration feels that there is too much room for fraud in the appointment of a P.O.A. ( Attorney-in-Fact). First, I don't believe that there can be more than one. I may be incorrect on this.
An elder care lawyer should be employed and consulted frequently on all these issues.
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Thought this might be useful to explain to all what the SSA requires of a "representative payee" ... also spells out a ton of important information to know if you are considering taking on this role for someone:

http://www.ssa.gov/payee/LessonPlan-2005-2.htm#WHATISPAYEE
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Why can't you just have your name added onto her bank account if she is getting direct deposit from her SSA? That is what my mil did for she added her son's name onto her account that way, if we need to pay bills n etc for her we can withdraw it n take care of her needs. She has moderate Alzheimer's n he does have a POA as well.
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The Medicaid is handled at a State level and the durable POA might be accepted for many states will, but I can not speak to all states. SSA does not process Medicaid applications.
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All we wanted was to get Daddy's address changed so we would get tax documents in the future and to get a printout of this past year's income so I could file their tax return. Nothing else. I'm already on his bank account and have been for almost 40years. That was not a problem.
I talked to the hospice people today & they are supposed to be getting the letter from the doctor I need.
Today I remembered what used to happen everytime we got a Congressional Inquiry when I worked for IRS. Management literally jumped thru hoops to get issues resolved. I have decided that is what I am going to have to do. SSA should not be making life more difficult for people who have given up their own lives to care for others. Even if I can't resolve this issue for myself I am going to do what I can to make things easier for those who follow me. Maybe I won't get anything changed, but maybe I will. I'll never know unless I try. I propose we all write our Congressional representatives and flood them with information on what it is like trying to cut thru the red tape with SSA.
I won't have to deal with Medicaid or any lookback periods. But, I have been extremely worried about the uninvolved brother coming in after Daddy & Mama have died and wanting to know how every penny has been spent. I was also worried about keeping all of the receipts, bank statements, etc so I could prove things. Eventually these things add up and fill up space. My sister had a talk with my mother about the record and receipt keeping. We are working on drawing up a codicil to the will saying that anyone, other than my sister, that questions where the money has gone or questions their fair share of the estate loses their right to inherit anything. A separate agreement is being drawn up that says I am only answerable to my mother and sister and they have 2 months from the end of a month to question any amounts expended for my parents. It will set up a schedule of the date receipts will be destroyed (except of course what has to be kept for IRS and the like). Once past that date, they are beyond audit. I have been spending almost as much time taking care of their business as I have been taking care of them. My own life, like most of yours, has been neglected taking care of theirs. Next on the agenda is to try to simplify their financial affairs. They do not need 3 checking accounts and savings at 5 financial institutions. Maybe more than 1 savings account is needed, but not 3 checking accounts.
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