New Federal Legislation Creates Program for Beneficiaries of Social Security

  • March 23, 2018

New federal legislation, the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act (H.R. 4547), authorizes the Protection and Advocacy (P&A) system, of which DRT is a part, to monitor and investigate representative payees.

Representative payees are people who act as the receiver of a person's Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for those who are not fully capable of managing their own benefits. Investigative efforts have uncovered representative payees who have stolen, misused, or exploited a person's benefits or even abused or neglected the beneficiary. 

This new legislation will create programming across the P&A system, including in Tennessee, to increase the oversight of representative payees creating greater protection for those receiving benefits. DRT will provide details as this new program is implemented. 


Read on for the National Disability Rights Network's press release:

Access the PDF version of the press release.

For Immediate Release

03/23/2018

Contact: David Card
202.408.9514 x122 | press@ndrn.org

New Legislation Protects Beneficiaries of Social Security Disability Benefits

WASHINGTON – Legislation passed by the U.S. Senate will increase oversight and protection for some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens. The bill, called the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act (H.R. 4547), will increase independent oversight of the Social Security Administration’s Representative Payee Program.


A representative payee is a person who acts as the receiver of Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income for a person who is not fully capable of managing their own benefits. Unfortunately, multiple investigations have uncovered representative payees who have stolen or misused funds, exploited, neglected, and even abused the people with disabilities they were supposed to be helping.


“For too long dishonest representative payees have exploited and abused people with disabilities without fear of being discovered,” said the National Disability Rights Network’s (NDRN) Executive Director Curt Decker. “That stops today. We are thrilled to see that Congress has acted to protect the more than eight million Americans who currently have representative payees.”

“For too long dishonest representative payees have exploited and abused people with disabilities without fear of being discovered,” said the National Disability Rights Network’s (NDRN) Executive Director Curt Decker. “That stops today."


H.R. 4547 specifically authorizes the nation’s Protection and Advocacy (P&A) system to monitor and investigate how representative payees are administering Social Security funds. P&As are federally mandated organizations that provide legal and other advocacy services to people with disabilities in every U.S. state and territory.


“Congress has recognized the critical role P&As have played for 40 years in keeping our nation’s most vulnerable citizens safe from abuse and neglect in institutions and the community,” continued Decker. “The P&As have the experience, capacity and determination to provide this needed oversight of the representative payee program.”


The House of Representative approved the bill unanimously in February. It now goes to the White House where President Trump is expected to sign it into law”

 

 

Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT) is a nonprofit legal services organization that provides FREE services to protect the rights of Tennesseans with disabilities.

Middle Tennessee (Admin Office)

2 International Plaza, Suite 825
Nashville, TN 37217

Phone: 615.298.1080
Fax: 615.298.2046

East Tennessee

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Knoxville, TN 37923

Phone: 865.670.2944
Fax: 865.470.7028

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Memphis, TN 38112

Phone: 901.458.6013
Fax: 901.458.7819