November was National Family Caregivers Month. In his Presidential Proclamation in celebration of caregivers, President Obama reminds us that our great nation was founded on the ideal that we all do better when we look out for one another. For millions of Americans, this concept is more than an ideal. It’s a day-to-day reality.
According to the Census Bureau, there are nearly 57 million people living with disabilities in the United States. Thirty percent of American adults are involved in providing care for a sick or disabled family member. Caregivers provide physical and emotional support for the people in their care. It’s a demanding job with its stresses and rewards, but it’s also a labor of love.
At Social Security, we understand this duty. Our agency is committed to you throughout life’s journey, helping secure today and tomorrow for every American. Caregiving is near and dear to our hearts, and it is deeply ingrained into our employees and who we are as a federal agency.
Our agency works closely with caregivers through our Representative Payee Program. A representative payee is someone who receives and oversees the Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits for anyone who cannot manage his or her benefits. This can be a child or an adult incapable of managing their own funds.
A representative payee is usually a trusted family member or friend of the beneficiary, but when friends or family are not able to serve as representative payees, Social Security looks for qualified individuals or organizations to represent the beneficiary. You can learn about becoming a representative payee by watching our new series of training videos on the duties of a representative payee. It is our hope that these training videos will not only educate individuals about the roles and responsibilities of being a representative payee, but also provide further insight, broaden community awareness, and provide key resources related to the growing incidents of elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.
Caregivers are valuable and irreplaceable assets to our great nation. Please join us in celebrating them for all they do for those we need them most.