On April 13, 2018, The Strengthening the Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018 (H.R. 4547) was signed into law. A few key points from the new law:
Section 101 of the Act strengthens oversight of representative payees by requiring additional types of on-site reviews, improving the effectiveness of the reviews, and providing for an increased number of reviews. The law also directs the Social Security Administration to work with state Protection & Advocacy (P&A) organizations to conduct all periodic onsite reviews and additional discretionary reviews. The P&As will also conduct educational visits and reviews based on allegations they receive of payee misconduct.
Section 102 of the Act reduces the burden on families of Social Security beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income recipients. The Social Security Administration will exempt the following representative payees from the annual requirement to account for the use of benefit payments:
- Natural or adoptive parents of a minor child beneficiary or recipient who primarily reside in the same household as the child;
- Legal guardians of a minor child beneficiary or recipient who primarily reside in the same household as the child;
- Natural or adoptive parents of a disabled adult beneficiary who primarily reside in the same household as the beneficiary; and
- Spouse of a beneficiary or recipient.
All representative payees are still required to keep records of how they spend or save the benefit payments. They must provide these records to the Social Security Administration for review if they are requested.
By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®