Financial Independence: Directing the Management of One’s Social Security Benefits

National Disability Forum

A Forum for All Interested Disability Stakeholders


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST

1100 New York Avenue, NW

Suite 200 East

Washington, DC 20005


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Background:

The Social Security Administration presumes, absent evidence to the contrary, that legally competent adult beneficiaries are capable of managing, or directing someone else to manage, their benefits. If there is evidence that the person may be incapable, we are responsible for deciding if beneficiaries can be paid directly or require a representative payee. In an effort to provide improved instructions to the employees who make these decisions, we are seeking feedback on the topic of how to identify individuals who can direct the management of their benefits.


Please see the issues below for comment

1. How should SSA assess a beneficiary’s ability to direct the management of his or her benefits?

2. Should SSA obtain specific types of evidence to assess a beneficiary’s ability to direct the management of his or her benefits? If so, what type(s)?

3. Are there certain questions SSA should ask beneficiaries in order to determine their ability to direct the management of benefits?

4. Should SSA consider a beneficiary’s disability or age when making a decision about his or her ability to direct the management of benefits?

5. Are there indicators that a beneficiary is not able to direct the management of his or her benefits? If so, please explain.

6. Should the existence of a supporter affect SSA’s determination of a beneficiary’s ability to direct the management of his or her benefits? If so, how?