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What can my mother use my money for?

My father is disabled and finally got his benefits. I was given a lump of money and a monthly check until I was 18. I was 16 when the checks started coming. When I turned 18 my mother told me that all of the money is gone, and she drew me up a chart of what she used my money on. Cable, electric, food, telephone bill, homeowners insurance, groceries, propane, etc. She ended up using all of my money that I expected to have for a college fund, all on bills. I've tried countless times to get a hold of someone that could tell me exactly what she could and couldn't spend the money on. From what I've read it was for housing, food, clothing, etc. I wasn't sure if she could get away with using the money on all of the little bills.

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SSA documents state that a representative payee (your mother) must use your benefits in the following manner :

Benefits should be used for current needs such as food, clothing, shelter, utilities, dental and medical care and personal comfort items, or reasonably foreseeable needs. If not needed for these purposes, the benefits must be conserved or invested on behalf of the beneficiary.

So your mother's spending at first glance appears appropriate.

What may, however, be inappropriate, is to take a higher than a pro-rated amount from your benefits. For example, it may be inappropriate for your mother to pay the ENTIRE homeowner's insurance with your benefits -- half may be more appropriate.

I couldn't find definitive information on what's appropriate. See the following for some guidance :

You could contact the SSA directly about this.

Thank you so much for the fast reply! After a half an hour wait, I finally got a hold of the SSA but didn't really get a definite answer. I'm going to wait and go to my local SS office next week. One thing that I don't understand is: I receive $543 a month, yet the lowest amount of money that my mom spent in a month was $900. She gave me a break down of how she spent the money: month by month. And let me tell you, I'm not a spoiled kid nor do I spend money unless I really need something.

In the last article you posted, it states "A payee may not use dedicated account funds for:
Items or services not listed in GN 00602.140B.1 in this section;
Repayment of SSI overpayments; and
Basic maintenance costs (food, housing, clothing, and personal items) not related to the child’s impairment."

The part that really sticks out to me is "A payee may not use dedicated account funds for: Basic maintenance costs (Food, housing, clothing, and personal items) not related to the child's impairment."

I'm not an expert, which is why I am asking in the forum, but I understand that as "She can't use the "chunk" for the bills or the food. The monthly payment is for that money" That's how I took it. Any advice?

I really appreciate the help, thank you!

I'm not too familiar with your situation, but I can't be too optimistic about you getting much out of this.

It sounds like your mother kept fairly detailed records. But let's say you were able to get the SSA to "throw out" one third of the payments she supposedly made on your behalf. This would still mean that your mother spent a minimum of $600 each month for your benefit. Since this $600 is greater than your $543 benefit, you won't wind up with anything.

I would still meet with the SSA, but I think you'll have to show more than half of your mother's expenses were "inappropriate" for you to wind up with something.

To me, it almost seems like she's using the money more for her benefit, than mine. Like she's using the money to make her life better, instead of mine. Some months, she's spent almost $2,000 on bills. There isn't any huge outside expensive in those months either.

She gets $563 from the monthly checks and my dad pays another $250 for child support. This is an extra $900 that can go for bills. Why tap into the college fund?


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