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I have cared for my Mother who has dementia for years and I was told today that because she lives with me, she will lose part of her benefits and I have to submit a SS Payee form to continue receiving her SS check. She helps us with our bills and according to information I've read, that will no longer be an option. I am very concerned. Is anyone familiar with this? Thank you!

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Here are the websites for the Social Security Representative Payee program.  Copy and paste to your browser.  I think that they will help answer any questions that you have.  If not, then contact the local SS office.

https://www.ssa.gov/payee/

https://www.ssa.gov/payee/newpubs.htm

The publications on this page provide an overview of SSA's representative payment program.
We have information for those who need a payee as well as for those who are, or would like to become a representative payee.
Guide for Organizational Representative Payees

Guide for Representative Payees

When A Payee Manages Your Money

Understanding SSI

For additional information on the programs that SSA administers, please see our publications home page, Social Security Benefit Publications.
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If she receives a supplement due to low earned SS, she may lose that, she will not lose her earned benefit. I believe that the supplement brings one up to $700 per month.
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Reply to DollyMe
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Social Security amount is determined by one's earnings from their work history as far as I know, so Mom's SS check wouldn't be changed based on her living situation. My father lived with me for years, he added me to his bank account because he wanted me to have access to it in case something happened to him , eventually I had to write the checks out because he wasn't able to anymore. Neither of us saw anything wrong with that. Nobody ever told us about any Payee form. Who told you this?
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worriedinCali Jun 20, 2019
If her mom is receiving supplement security income, which is NOT the same as social security, she would lose that because household income is used to determine eligibility for that benefit. But the OP has since made a new post and clarified what the change is—she can no longer pay her own bills with her mother’s social security check. Her mother’s social security is to be spend on her mother’s care & bills. The OP says her mother has been helping her financially and THAT is what has to stop when she becomes SS payee.
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I posted 3 questions regarding this and the site took me to the "log in" page.  My posts didn't show, so I assumed they hadn't.  Now I have 3 posts (late) on the same subject.  Sorry.
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I have been trying to post questions regarding this subject for two days.  They would not post and I couldn't get back into my account.  I just found that all three questions have posted now and I apologize for the repetition.
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It sounds like she was receiving supplemental social security income and is losing part or all of it. That is because household income is taken in to consideration when eligibility for SSI is determined. Is her social security check being deposited in to your bank account or her own? If it goes in to her own account I don’t see why you have to become payee.
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dlpandjep Jun 15, 2019
She has her own account.  I was told that because of her dementia, I will have to have her checks deposited to my account.
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I have read a lot of good questions, advise, and suggestions. Folks on this forum on this question are very knowledgable in this area. I can tell it comes from first hand experience. Let me offer something here for you to think about as well.
Your mother has had dementia and you caring for her for years?
Helping you pay "your bills"?
Tough question here...are you concerned of losing the money for her or for you?
Reason I ask is - Exploitation is a dangerous arena to even be accused of these days, especially by the Social Security Administration.
"Isthisrealyreal" gave you good advise. This is Mother's money and to be used for her.
My take... Mother should not be paying your bills.
In every realm, especially when dealing with the Social Security Administration, you need to keep things transparent.
To become mother's SS Payee, mother will have to be in tow when "she" tells the agent this is what she wants. But since she has dementia then you better have the proper medical forms from her doctor declaring her incapable. You should have previously been issued POA or guardianship documents.
Usually, POA's can't be established because by law a person has to be in their normal mental capacity for the attorney to set this in place.
I suggest you get a geriactric doctor to evaluate mother. Additionally, get advise from an elder law attorney. Then work to be appointed as her guardian.
If you are appointed payee by Social Security, then YOU have to give account of her money on the annual report SS requires.
In any event, keep mother's money straight and for her.
If you chose to do nothing and stay where you are with this then remember, your mother's quality of life is paramount. There maybe a day, if not already, when mother is ready for an assisted living or skilled nursing place. This will require medicaid since you wouldn't be able to afford private pay, even with mother's SS check.
Transparency is key. Wishing you the best in your endeavors with your mother's care.
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dlpandjep Jun 15, 2019
Thank you for your advice LuvingSon.  I'm very frustrated at this point.  It's enough that I give 24/7 care for her, but now I have to keep records and give an account?  I love my Mother and do all I can to care for her.  Now I am being penalized.
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I think u need to go to a SS office and talk to a rep there. Like said, you maybe able to have an agreement made up that she pays towards the expenses of the household.

I would say, though, stop relying on Moms income. It will stop one day and where will you be.

My Mom still had her house so I never changed her address for any of her bills. She moved in with me 2014, 2016 to an AL and 2017 to LTC. All that time I never changed her address. Her SS was direct deposited and I was on the account so I paid her bills. I really never thought of becoming her payee. She went on Medicaid for LTC and at that time I made the NH payee for SS and pension.
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dlpandjep Jun 15, 2019
My Mother still has her house too.  My brother lives there, but she has LE.  I know you're right about thinking ahead. (financially)  Being "
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Who told you that? If Social Security requires you to do anything, they will send you written notice. Verbal communication means nothing, if it's not written it's not enforceable.

You need to do a rental agreement and a caregiver contract so that you are not being helped by her, but rather she is paying her own way.

When you become representative payee it is true, her money is to be used only for her. However, rent to have a home is for her. Care to be taken care of is for her. Get it.

I was told that I needed to become representative payee and that my dad couldn't touch his own money. I decided that he would not go for that and I never did it. Nothing happened. It was a call from me to get information and it taking 45 minutes for him to give them his SS # to talk to me that prompted that advice.

You should be able to get simple forms for rent and care. Be sure to include utilities and food as a percentage if it is a floating amount she pays.

You will have to keep detailed records if you become representative payee as they want an annual accounting.

Go to the website and read about it from the horse's mouth, I don't believe they can force you to implement rep payee, it seems to be part of the training, it takes up time to deal with a senior citizen and they are trying to minimize that spent time.

One thing I did do, I got on my dad's bank account so I could handle his money separately from mine. Never use her money for anything besides her and her needs, that could cause problems if she ever needs Medicaid. Her check should be directly deposited in an account that she is the main account holder.

Obviously you are in a tough situation, she helps you stay in your home. What is your plan to survive when she passes? Good time to start looking at that.

Edit: when I spoke with SSA they said it was a good thing I called because he wasn't going to be getting a check that month because they hadn't had a viable address for a year. They had sent notifications to that effect, but no response. Please don't worry about what was said, they will notify you in writing if you need to do anything.
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dlpandjep Jun 15, 2019
Thank you for sharing your experience and trying to comfort me.  I am overwhelmed with a sick husband and now this.  I had no idea this might happen (and they say ignorance is bliss).  I told the woman I spoke with that I didn't want to be her payee, but she insisted I have no choice.  She told me to fill out two forms and send them in.  I am just going to wait until I hear from them.  I did read about it on their website.  I am concerned that if I don't comply, they will stop her check all together.  Thanks again.
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Actually if parent receives extra help like food stamps or SSI that figure based on household income her living with family member could reduce benefit. Mother’s money can only be used for her benefit not family, so You need to itemize that her money is used to pay a share of bills for her support not paying your bills. It will matter if you have to apply for Medicaid later to have documentation. You may need to go in person to social security office with parent to get info or consult attorney to get sorted.
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dlpandjep Jun 15, 2019
Thank you for your advice.  Much appreciated.
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SS does not accept POA and requires someone appointed as payee with forms to be filed yearly.
SS is not reduced. Go to the SS website for lots of information. It’s a little overwhelming. Going to an elder law attorney will help.
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dlpandjep Jun 15, 2019
Thank you Mart.  Looks like I need to do just that.  Caregiving is becoming more complicated and I didn't sign on for all of this.
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