Anyone a Disability Payee?

I am new payee for my son. He only gets $733, his rent alone is 525. Basically there is hardly anything left for “spending” money. He is accusing me of keeping him a prisoner cuz he wants money every few days, which I know is for drugs. I can’t take his daily calls, about 10 times a day, which I stop answering, manipulating me for money. What should I do? He has sz and is a drug addict off meds.


@Dreamer1 I am my son’s rep payee and have been for 10 years, and sometimes (when he is delusional he claims I hold him prisoner and demands his money and says he is moving out and goes on and one about it for a day or two and then when the delusions pass everything goes back to normal…(our normal)…His tirades are not rational it is part of the illness and I ignore him and do what I know is right- BUT then he lives with me because financially I could not have afforded him to have him live elsewhere on the $700 and something he gets each month AND my son also would never have gained his sobriety and quit seeking drugs had I not kept the control over his money and kept him under my watch-- but now I am also on disability and have been for the past 5 years and when I worked it was much harder to keep him out of trouble. Are there any programs in your area that offer low income housing?, section 8 vouchers? or something similar to reduce the rent payment each month? The other thing is have you considered retaining legal guardianship of him then you can force him into a dual treatment program for the addiction and the sz combined? I may have mentioned this before and if I did my apologies. Whatever you do…don’t give him money while he is unstable and still seeking drugs. Take care.


Dear Dreamer1,

Where we live, the community behavioral health clinics have representative payee services. See if you can get someone else to do it?

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I am also a rep payee. I have established a daily amount that I transfer to a shared account. Fortunately, I don’t have the issue of drugs to deal with.

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I also want to say, I think you are doing the right thing by not answering his calls, especially if he can still text or leave a message if he has a real need for help. I have had to also establish a baseline for how my son can talk to me, and if he crosses it, I will not accept calls until I think he is ready to respect me again.

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I am also rep payee for my son. He was approved for disability last fall and receives $751 a month. He also got a hefty backpay because we had been declined twice and had been trying for about 3 years.

It was such a relief for him to be approved. I loosened the reigns a bit on his daily money and looking back it was a mistake on my part because he started back into heavy drugs with the extra $$. He also was being more “assertive” with wanting control over his own life and this May refused to take his Invega Trinza injections which had been working somewhat well for him.

Things got really, really bad around here with him unmedicated and doing drugs, so we finally had to force him to leave our home, which we have never done before since his illness began 7 yrs ago. Local police picked him up, 1013’d him about a month ago, he spent a week in mental hospital and since we would not let him come home, the hospital counselor found him a room & board home for $400/mo. I have since cut his daily living $$ back down and will continue to do so.

My son also accuses me of keeping him tied down and “running and ruining” his life. I also don’t take his calls when I suspect he just wants to hound me for more money. And like @Vallpen said if its anything important he can text. I tell him that these are the consequences for his poor choices and he has to live with it until he can build our trust back.

@Vallpen would you pls let me know how you work the transfer of your son’s daily living money for him to have access to, a little at a time. I haven’t been able to come up with a good solution. Right now we are purchasing a Visa Vanilla Gift Card for one week’s worth of money, and mailing it to him. Visa charges $5 a card. It’s not the perfect system because sometimes the mail gets it to him (he is way across town) the next day and sometimes 2 days later. I’ve checked into credit cards, like maybe adding on to my AX account, but that won’t work either, I come to find out. The first gift card we mailed son was stolen at the room & board home he’s at :unamused:


Just throwing it out there----I have my son set up with Paypal and I can transfer money from my account or his rep payee account to that card for free each month it takes 3 or 4 days to get there but I let him know he has a X number of dollars and that is it…having the card instead of cash keeps him from trying anything shady plus he knows that all the transactions show up on the account which I monitor from my laptop…I think it is super easy and works really well… the other thing I like is if there is a bad transaction or something is not credited or debited properly --Paypal has a superior customer service department in my opinion. My son and I discuss ahead of time the things he needs money for so he can know where it’s going and I leave only $10-15 that he blows on pop and candy or taco bell or something…during the month. Digital Wallets, Money Management, and More | PayPal US


Hmm, very interesting. So that I’m understanding this right, I would set up a Paypal account for my son, then he could get some kind of Paypal card to withdraw money from this account? Would this be the regular Paypal account or a Paypal credit card account? When you set it up in your son’s name, did you use your email when signing up or his email? I have had a Paypal acct for years, did not know something like this existed.

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Thank you. I’ll look into that.

How old is your son?

Do you mean $10 or $15 a week or month for Taco Bell, etc? My son actually wants $40 a week, he says for “eating out”! There is no “extra” money for him after bills are paid. I know it’s really for drugs, cuz he’s even selling his $40 gift card for groceries for $10. It’s a real bad situation. I went to Social Sec ofc to try to remove myself as payee and was told if I do, he’ll lose his disability. I must have a replacement. So that’s why I’m looking into an agency to do it. I actually told the Social Sec rep that he’s spending his disability money on drugs and he said “we can’t control how he spends his money”. Wow, that was an eye opener! Unbelievable.


@lovemyson You would just ask for a second card for your son to use and you would remain primary on the account (there should be someplace to request it in your account info) and it is a debit card not a credit card. If he tries to use it with no balance available it will be declined or at least that is how it works for us, there may be other options available but I try to keep it simple.


@Dreamer1 I usually put about $15 extra a month on his card above what he needs for other things not food related. When my son says things like “I need $40 a week” or or whatever -I say: “Dream on Alice, Wonderland is right around the corner.” and ignore him…if he persists then I say: " okay let’s make it zero for this month until you come to your senses" He knows I mean it so he says, “no, $15 is okay.” My son weighs 285 and has poor eating habits anytime he eats outside of the house…and I provide healthy and tasty food at home each day so he doesn’t need any fast food at all, $10 or15 a month is a concession on my part…and we don’t have money to waste anyway, I consider that the amount what we can afford to lose. I knew from the beginning that I couldn’t give my son cash for extra money because of his addiction issues, and most dealers will not take paypal …at least I don’t think they will. :worried:


I had to find a bank where I could have a personal account with him not on it, and then another account that we were both on. Then I use on-line transfer to move the money. I am using Community America Credit Union.

I insisted that my name be on an account so that I could put money into it - otherwise I was not going to provide him regular transfers.

It has worked well.

My son is also currently starting to get angry about having to be on medication… what a crappy roller coaster we get to ride on.


I am a rep payee also for my 30 year old son. It is a nightmare! I am constantly accused of stealing his money. He wants to be in charge of it but social security says if I take myself off of it he will be cut off. They say they don’t have rep payees to assign. They say it is my problem. I want out from under this so bad. I am tired of being threatened by him. Will I be in this mess forever?


Hello, I am EXACTLY in the same position you are. It is a nightmare. I had no idea that once my 32 yr old son received disability that it would be a nightmare. After fighting so long to get disability, you just don’t think beyond, money is supposed to be for paying bills, not “spending” money. He has no concept of paying bills because he has never had to, I’ve paid his bills for last 2 yrs, ever since he was diagnosed. I also went to Social Sec ofc to remove myself but couldn’t or he’d lose his disability. I also told representative he was spending money on drugs and he coldly said “we can’t control the way he spends his money”. I was so surprised. I give my son a grocery “gift card” and he sells it for cash to buy drugs. I’m at a loss on what to do.

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I googled “representative payee services” and found this, for example,

Not vouching for that particular service as they are not in my state. Just one example of what’s out there. Our local behavioral health centers offer representative payee service with case management.

Hopefully that is one problem that could be managed more easily?

@Lmr Some of his reactions and behaviors may be very well from the illness itself, and if it were me I would discuss all of this with his psychiatrist. My son (he’s 32) only gives me that kind of hell about the money when he becomes (even mildly) delusional which thankfully is not often on the clozaril…but maybe two or three times a year or so it does happen and it is hell…but it passes as long as I don’t engage with the argument and don’t take offense at the angry speech toward me (and it is hard but I am working on it)…I just say something…like I am sorry you feel that way…or I can see how you might think that…or something non confrontational…and I go busy myself away from him, and he usually sulks in his room for a couple of days and then it passes and he doesn’t even seem to remember everything that he said. Afterward things go back to normal. I manage the money and he does not…that is the only way this whole thing works. Just my 2 cents.

My problem is also that he has quit his meds and going to the doctor. He won’t let me talk to any doctor either. He knows all about hippa laws. He lives alone in an apartment.

The problem with an organization is, they require a signature from my son on a form that he is willing to assign them as new payee, instead of me, and he refuses to sign.