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View Diary: State robbing from abused and neglected children: converting their assets into government revenue (26 comments)

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  •  Its all about who manages the money (1+ / 0-)
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    martini

    Its posible that the biological parents - or some other relative or the foster parents etc to be representative payee. Its also possible for other organizations and nonprofits etc - or a volunteer.  For adults receiving social security benefits who do not have the mental capacity to manage their own funds, their are volunteer programs where people receive training and volunteer to serve as rep payees for the disabled adults to use or conserve their funds in their best interests.  It could also be a great volunteer opportunity for retired individuals to help foster children...

    If a parent or relative was able to apply for the benefits on behalf of child first, and then become rep payee to manage the funds - that individual could conserve the funds in a trust or college saving fund etc.  The social security administration would likely have concerns if it is the parent of child taken into foster care - out of concern that parent may misuse the funds - but other relatives could certainly be payee and our listed in the federal regs as more preferred than the state.  

    What is happening is that state agency is usually applying for benefits first before a relative - or if someone else is already the payee the state files an action with the Social Security Administration to change the payee to the state - and the individuals already serving as payees are usually unable to afford a lawyer or understand how to the contest the state action.  But you are right - one of the hopes is that people will learn how to challenge this practice and find another person or organization to serve as payee to manage the children's funds in their best interests.

    •  another thought -- how to reach (1+ / 0-)
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      PovertyLawProf

      the kids? certainly by age 16-17 they'll care about their future, and I've known some uncanny-sharp 12 year olds.  They can't make the decisions, legally, right? but they could advocate for themselves to relatives, maybe?

      sucks to think the state is doing this :(

      •  Kids could be empowered (0+ / 0-)

        I agree that not only is it bad the state is taking the children's resources, but also missing a crucial opportunity to empower and engage the children.  The children could be part of a planning process, and taught financial literacy, in coming up with their own plan for how to best use their own funds for specialized current unmet needs (not provided for by the foster care system) or to conserve their funds to help in their plan for achieving independence after leaving foster care.  

        And yes if the children are aware of the practice, they can help find someone else to try to manage their funds and serve as representative payee (children under age 18 are required to have representative payees)

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