SSI Advice please

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by pajamas, Jul 16, 2015.

  1. pajamas

    pajamas Member

    CeCe has been approved for SSI - yeah! First try, all good. She's still living with us while waiting/hoping for transitional living or vocational rehab placement so naturally her payment is reduced by a third. Happily/thankfully/luckily/gratefully it's not a financial issue, but we want to "charge" her appropriately and legally for her consumption so that she gets a reality check.

    As an illustrative aside: she had a part time job briefly this year. Made $70 or so. Original plan was to use the money to fund a trip to South Africa, and then, when that wasn't feasible, spent the $ on candy and toys. (Not an IQ issue, by the way)

    What do you/others do? Clearly (in my humble opinion) she shouldn't have $488 in spending money, although some is warranted (how much?). What can/should she be charged for? how much?

    We're writing up a boarding (not rental) agreement that required chores or a penalty payment to cover the cost of her room equated to market rate (not equal to fair share), which we are requiring her to sign. Looking for the ancillary items, such as laundry.

    TIA for advice,

  2. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    The checks are made out to my husband and our Difficult Child. I think he is called "the designated payee." Almost 100% of the money goes for rent (she doesn't live at home) and if there is anything left, it goes for necessities.

    Our Difficult Child would in no way be able to manage her money. We hope perhaps in a few years that will change. She even struggles with the little bit of food money she has (food stamps). One of us often goes with her to the food store to make sure her purchases make sense.

    I would set boundaries as you are doing.

    But I would also consider looking for nearby apartments that meet her budget (with the full benefit). As soon as you feel she has learned some of the skills needed to live on her own, I would encourage such a move.
  3. pajamas

    pajamas Member

    I'm the representative payee, too (darn it!) SSA originally said she didn't need one, but they didn't push when I said "no way". In our area, I'm not sure that an apartment is a realistic option. Holden and his wife have not found any options on a budget that equates to her full SSI payment (they have minimum wage jobs and college). We are trying to get her into transitional housing, and apparently Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) put her ahead on the list. At what age did yours move out, Nomad? How did you handle the interim period?
  4. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Our Difficult Child is very impulsive due to her diagnosis. She moved out at 19. The first two years were extraordinarily difficult. It's been several years. Most have been rough. Impulsivity and mood swings = poor decisions. I can say the last few years have indicated small improvements. I was very upset when she moved initially. Not so much that she was out of the house, but because I felt that she would likely have great problems and worried for her safety. Somehow, she's ok. She does better when she lives nearby and we have at least some influence here and there. Actually, we wouldn't want to have more than that.
  5. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    I'd look at prices of single room rental for shared housing or studio apartments in your area. Then, say, half of that? Some reasonable number.

    Don't be frightened either when you get your annual spending request - It's easy to fill out and pretty non-judgemental.
  6. pajamas

    pajamas Member

    How much data do I needed to keep to do the form? It's not my strength!

    I did look at the cost of roomshares in our area and used that as the basis for the boarding agreement, including house rules and consequences. From an SSI perspective, I'm sure it's still "in kind support" since it's nowhere near the "fair share" amount given our mortgage, etc., but it still gives us a basis for removing her if necessary. I do worry for her safety - and also for mine and the younger kids, who have their own issues.

    Caught a surprise break at the bank yesterday when seeking advice about how to set up a subaccount for CeCe so that she could practice managing money without touching her SSI directly or affecting our credit. It turned out the 'personal banker' giving us advice had adopted her severe disabled grandkids - she even uses the same child psychiatrist we had for many years. She was very motherly to CeCe, and what a relief to be able to talk with someone at the bank who gets it the next time one of the kids messes with our finances.
  7. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    Not mine either, for certain!

    The questions I remember are:

    Has the disabled person spent more than 30 days at a different address?

    Has the disabled person been convicted of a crime? (I don't remember the exact wording here, it may be asking about incarceration.)

    Did you as rep payee spend all the moneys directly for the support of the disabled person? Y/N

    Are there any unspent funds in the account? (You are required if I remember right, to use those unspent funds for Series EE Savings Bonds. I may not be remembering why, or if this means anything else.) Y/N Enter amount: (box for total amount)

    They are simple questions with no double meanings. Figure them as written for about 3rd grade English skills.

    Yet I ALWAYS stressed when filling out the form. I hate sharing personal information with government agencies. Blame my family history with ... Shall we say... Excessively interested government interference. :/ At least these guys don't wear uniforms with armbands, eh?
  8. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I just asked my husband and he says that the questions he receives as designated payee are super simple.

    Is there a different form if the person is living within your home or receiving some kind of in,kind services?

    Also, what if you were to charge her ALL or almost all of her check for room and board? Would there be any hope of them increasing her check/decreasing the percentage taken off?

    I've always thought they tend to be very unfair with this kind of thing.
  9. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    Kiddo was living with me at the time, both as a minor and over 18.

    They base the check amount on local cost of living, average rental costs (I think), and the amount of income the disabled person earns or gets from any other source, and there is a maximum amount they can pay. With Kiddo I believe it was $708 or thereabouts. When she was working at the school, the amount deducted was I think 50% of her school-earned income, minus some other number.
  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Nomad, who rented the apartment, you or her? Did you find that landlords were accepting or rejecting? Did she qualify on the basis of her SSI income? Did you cosign?

    I have thought about helping my son find a place near us, but have been stopped by several factors: One my son does not like it here in our town well enough to commit to living here, even though he would get stability and security. He covets living in a place he can never afford and neither can I.

    The other thing is that he has not paid bills that were his which went to collections. I feared that he would not qualify as a tenant, and I would have to cosign which I will not do.

    Then sometimes I think landlords in marginal areas would want a tenant with a dependable government income, and look beyond the bad credit.

    I have never gotten over my questions and doubts but fear I must.

    Thank you Nomad. For everything.
  11. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Well, at first she was able to get apartments simply by showing that she was on disability. She often would talk owners into it explaining that her father controlled the money and it wasn't as if they had to worry about non payment. It did get harder and harder, because rents in my city have gone up. We will not co sign for her. Eventually, she found garage apartments and now she is renting a room within a house. She has a mini fridge , a microwave and a hot plate in her room and can use the laundry room once a week. Once in a great while they let her use their kitchen. We don't wish her to live with us. No way. The people that own the house have had financial problems and renting the room has worked out well for them. It is a good reciprocal relationship. It's been VERY hard, but better than being homeless. She has been very close to homeless a few times, so this time around she has been a little more cooperative and trying very hard to take her medications regularly and control her mood swings, etc.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    My son was on ssi for years as a child. I was told to add up all my normal household expenses- rent, utilities, gas, food, etc- then divide that number by how many people living in the home. His portion was around 400 or so.

    I will also be honest and say I never saved stuff for those yearly reports. They tell you how much money they sent so I would figure about 65% to housing, 20%to food and clothes and 15% to entertainment.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    We have almost no contact with anyone regarding being payee. Only once a year we get a form just asking if Sonics circumstances changed and we mail in form. He had no t trouble finding a nice one bedroom apt for $400 month. Rent very low in this small town. He gets 400 free taxi rides too. Check to find services available in area. Ask payers in your neck of the woods if you have to do anything special.
    Sonics bills get paid out of his own money. He gets $450 a month because he has a part time job too. Out of his money he can afford rent, food, extras, his electric which is always less than $50 month, cable and cell. He is on a waiting list for really nice subsidized apartments. They take 30 per cent of income for rent and all utilities, even electric. He's been on waiting list two years. Good luck.