One of the primary challenges many special needs individuals are faced with is maintaining a household budget. Arcare’s Representative Payee Program is designed to assist individuals with disability, mental health conditions, or those who struggle with addiction in managing their finances to help create peace of mind for themselves and their families.
What is a representative payee?
A representative payee manages funds received from Social Security and/or other government benefit program payments for persons who cannot manage — or who direct someone else to manage — his or her money.
Arcare was approved as an organizational representative payee by the Social Security Administration in 2000. Organizational representative payees include social service agencies, institutions, an official of a state or local government agency, or a financial organization.
How can Arcare’s payee services help?
As an organizational representative payee, Arcare can receive any government benefit payments on behalf of the enrolled beneficiary and coordinate the distribution of funds to cover daily living expenses, routine bills, and personal spending money. As a representative payee, Arcare’s primary responsibilities are to use these funds to pay for the current and foreseeable needs of the beneficiary and properly save any benefits not necessary for meeting current needs. We want to help beneficiaries remain independent in the community.
Arcare’s team of professionals works with each beneficiary and their support network to develop a budget according to Social Security and/or other program requirements, revisiting the budget if large changes to expenses or income occur. Staff can also assist clients with finding affordable housing and applying for additional benefits, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), if necessary. Then, on a weekly or monthly basis, Arcare will make funds available to the beneficiary for spending, groceries and other personal needs. This increases the beneficiaries’ independence, autonomy and integration in their communities.
In addition, the program relieves the anxiety and stress family members often face when dealing with finances for a loved one. Family members and the beneficiary’s support team can rest assured that financial matters are in trusted hands.
Who provides oversight?
The Social Security Administration provides training and oversight for all representative payees. As an organizational representative payee, Arcare must keep records of all expenses for each beneficiary and file annual reports with the Social Security Administration.