Social Security and Control Over Finances

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09 Dec 2008, 5:28 pm

Right now I am an Aspie and I am living off social security disability. But, my father is trustee over the account. Meaning I have no control over how the money is used, accept for $30 dollars in allowence per-week. But, one of the greatest difficulty is buying things on-line, e.g. books, etc. since I am not allowed a depot card, and I am at my parrent's mercy for making judgements about how my money is used.

Does anyone have any suggestions for accessing online goods without a debot or credit card? What do you do when you need something like a book, which you can't get at the bookstore, but need it from Amazon.com?

Has any of you struggle with the issue, of not feeling like you have control over your finances and life, those of you on SSI? Do you run into tensions with trustees? Do you ever feel patronized, that you are not allowed to control your own finances? Even through you are very high-functioning?

Please let me know! Thanks very much!


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09 Dec 2008, 6:06 pm

There's a new kind of Visa card that you can buy prepaid meaning give them your cash and it is put on a Visa card. I think Walmart sells them. I'm not sure if there are fees associated with using it or not. But if you get one its just like a credit card except you can't buy more than what you have already prepaid to deposit on the card.

Paypal might be an option part of the time as more and more online companies are allowing you to use your Paypal account for purchases.



j0sh
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09 Dec 2008, 7:05 pm

You can get the prepaid cards at any of those check cashing places too. I think they have a small fee for charging though.



pezar
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09 Dec 2008, 10:26 pm

Goose wrote:
Right now I am an Aspie and I am living off social security disability. But, my father is trustee over the account. Meaning I have no control over how the money is used, accept for $30 dollars in allowence per-week. But, one of the greatest difficulty is buying things on-line, e.g. books, etc. since I am not allowed a depot card, and I am at my parrent's mercy for making judgements about how my money is used.


I hope your parents aren't robbing you. When I first got on SSI, my mom was my payee, mainly so that we could ram the application through the system. Six months later, she quietly changed it so that I would be in charge. She gave me the money I needed anyway, not just a little allowance. We had the same bank, so she would put the money in my account and I'd withdraw it.

I've heard plenty of stories of trustee abuse, how family members will get authority and then bleed Uncle Sam. In the 90s, when addicts were considered "disabled" and got cash, there were cases of the local bar owner being the payee and then just adding to their line of credit at the bar, or of people cashing the checks and immediately buying drugs. Food stamps and state run welfare programs already use debit cards instead of paper checks because of stuff like this. Now Social Security is considering debit cards.

The US is full of check cashing places that have sprung up over the last 15 years to cash people's paychecks and Social Security checks, no questions asked, unlike a bank. I think I've used a check cashing place ONCE, when I got a $150 tax refund (one of the few times I had a job) and desperately needed new bedsheets. I got the check on a Friday, and Monday was a holiday, so any bank deposit wouldn't be in until Tuesday. My worn sheets were chafing me and catching my toes, so I didn't want to wait. I went to the check cashing place and got the money, then went to the mall and bought sheets. (My bank was downtown at the time, and I didn't want to fight holiday traffic.) That's about the only time I've ever used one of those places.

Many poor Americans depend on them for "payday loans" which charge interest equal to several hundred percent yearly. (The US has no usury laws, after the courts struck them down.) People get trapped into these loans, needing a new loan to pay off the old loan, and thus are in perpetual servitude to these loan sharks. In 2007 Congress raised concerns about the loan sharks preying on military members, and what impact it was having on a demoralized and exhausted force.



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09 Dec 2008, 11:27 pm

Pezar,

I think Social Security can be direct deposited now if the payee so choses. I'm pretty sure a friend on SSDI said she got direct deposits.



Goose
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10 Dec 2008, 11:21 am

Thank-you all for your very practical, and fresh suggestions.

Just to clarify, I sincearly don't think my father is stealing from me, but thanks for being concerned. He is an honest man, with much intregrity.

I do think that there is some sudtle economic abuse going on-I think they are using the money to control the changes they want to see in my life by using the money to see that thier priorities are met. And, refuse to use it on things they do not agree with, e.g. I wanted this book on weight-loss, with some fresh ideas, the other "eat less, excersize more" not working, but since they did not agree with the premise or what the book advocates, they won't get it for me. I am 29 years old and I have a Master degree, I should be able to get informed, weight the infomation, and come to my own conclusions. I don't see my doctors and other professionals as my "high preists" whom I need to mediate and intercede between me and the truth about medical infomation.

The bottom line, is I want control over how this money is used. I want more finanical independence. I don't want to keep begging for everything and I want relief in my relationship with my parrents over this issue.

I realize also a certian amount of the money has to be used by "law" for rent (I have a housing voucher), utilities for my apartment, food, medicine, etc. That I know my father is fufilling his obligations. I know that my Internet, e-mail account, medicines, are all being paid for. That I trust and have no reason, to believe otherwise, e.g. no problems.

What do you think enlight of this infomation?


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