Getting A Social Security Disability Caregiver
Taking care of someone with a disability is very taxing emotionally and financially. A lot of times, the caregiver is unable to find gainful work because caregiving itself is a full time job. According to statistics from the Census Bureau, there are more than 57 million Americans who live with disabilities. And 30% of adult Americans provide care for their sick or disabled family member.
As a caregiver, you not only have to take care of your loved one, but you also have to manage their finances. In case the expense of taking care of them is far beyond your budget, you can apply for Social Security Disability Income on their behalf. If the person you are taking care of has a work history within the last 10 years and has paid Social Security Taxes, then he/she is eligible for Social Security Disability. People who are unable to work due to a disability or illness are provided with financial and medical support by the SSA (Social Security Administration). In case expenses are really seriously crippling, you can even apply for an additional Supplement Security Income.
While you can fill in the form for the applicant, he/she needs to sign for him/herself. However, there are many circumstances where the ill or disabled person is unable do so. As a caregiver, you may sign on behalf of the applicant, if and only if, there is absolutely no way that the applicant can sign for him/herself.
Getting Paid for Being a Social Security Disability Caregiver
A lot of times, the caregiver is unable to work as the demands of taking care of the disabled or ill person are too high to allow for any other pursuit. Unfortunately, at this stage, the SSA will not pay people for being caregivers. Only caregivers who are also legal spouses may get indirect benefits through the Social Security spouse and survivor benefits. If you are a family member, then you are eligible to receive 50% of the benefit amount. However, if you are not a family member, then you do not get paid for being a caregiver at all.
SSA Representative Payee Program
The Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits help with just these situations. The SSA has what is called the Representative Payee Program for Social Security Disability Caregivers. The caregiver is the representative payee who receives and manages the SSDI and/or SSI (Supplemental Security Income) for the beneficiary who cannot do it for him/herself. So if you join this program, then you will get control of the beneficiary’s finances. However, you need to ensure that all the SSDI finances are accounted for and used only for the care of the disabled beneficiary. Being a representative payee is a huge commitment and should not be taken lightly. If you are not comfortable with the responsibility, you should let the SSA know so that they can find a professional who can take care of the SSDI beneficiary.
For more information about this the program, you can visit the Representative Payee Program page.