December 5, 2011
More Investigation into SSI Payments
Fourteen Congress representatives are managing an investigation to those who are in charge of handling Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. This investigation was launched after reports of alleged mismanagement of funding within the program. Lawmakers want the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to focus on the efficiency of the program as well as provide more choices for those people with physical/mental challenges who need help with benefits.
Congress members sent a letter to the GAO recently. This letter documented distress over the current system. It was discovered that a couple in Philadelphia locked four people with mental challenges in a basement to maintain their SSI.
“Despite requirements in the law and regulations… the SSA’s oversight of representative payees remains a clear challenge,” wrote Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas, and 13 other Republican members of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee.
Representative payees are people who control SSI benefits for people with physical/mental challenges because of age or challenge. There are about 5.6 million representative payees across country. They are responsible for about $61 million in benefits for 7.6 million people with physical/mental challenges.