Money Management Program
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Helping elders maintain their independence by providing assistance with household finances
Co-Sponsored by: American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), Mass Home Care, and the Executive Office of Elder Affairs
Started in September 1994, Elder Services’ of Berkshire County’s Money Management Program is a free service that assists low-income elders who have difficulty managing their finances. These elders may be at risk of losing their independence due to an inability to pay their basic household bills.
|Trained, insured, and supervised volunteers are matched one-on-one with elders needing assistance. Once a volunteer has been introduced to and accepted by the elder, it is this volunteer who will visit the elder’s home at least monthly. All services provided are free, confidential, and monitored by staff on a monthly basis.|
Two levels of
assistance are tailored
to meet the needs of elders:
|Elders who only need occasional assistance and can participate in paying bills.||Elders who are unable to manage their finances to meet their basic needs, and might be in danger of eviction, utility shut off, or going without food.|
|BILL PAYER ASSISTANCE||REPRESENTATIVE PAYEE|
Money Management Bill Payer Assistance:
Many elders need minor assistance with their household finances due to poor vision, limited writing ability, or occasional forgetfulness.
Our screened, trained, and insured volunteers can provide assistance with: writing checks, balancing the checkbook, developing a budget, organizing and sorting mail, and working with creditors.
Elders decide the level of assistance they want, make all the bill paying decisions, and sign their own checks. AARP provides insurance on the elders’ bank account.
|This assistance is monitored by program staff on a monthly basis, and is monitored by a third party quarterly. This service is renewable annually, and the elder has the right to cancel at any time.|
Representative Payee Assistance
Elders who are incapable of managing their own finances to meet their basic needs: food, shelter, clothing, utilities, are assisted by Money Management volunteers called Representative Payees. Representative Payee volunteers are assigned by the Social Security Administration per the elder’s request or after a physician’s statement has been completed. The volunteer is monitored monthly by the Money Management Program and annually by the Social Security Administration.
The Representative Payee receives the elder’s federal check and controls how this money is spent by developing an approved budget for the elder. The Representative Payee also receives all essential bills, and writes and signs all checks. Any money left over after all essential bills are paid is available to the elder.
Monitoring is an important component in both the Bill Payer and Representative Payee Programs. The purpose of this activity is to provide the program with an independent monitoring component which oversees and helps safeguard the client’s financial situation.
Bill Payer Monitoring is done by a third party on a quarterly basis. Through careful review of monthly reports and bank statements, the monitor ensures the needs of the elder are being met and the account is being handled appropriately. The monitor sends a report to the Program Coordinator who also reviews the findings.
Representative Payee Monitoring is done by a state agency on a monthly basis. The state agency reviews the elder’s bank statement and cancelled checks to ensure the needs of the elder are being met and the funds are being handled appropriately. The state agency sends a report to the program coordinator who also reviews the findings.
Elders age 60 or older, having an annual income no greater than $45,500 for individuals, or $52,000 for couples are eligible for the Money Management Program. There is a cap on liquid assets (home excluded) of $45,500 (individual), and $55,000 (couple).
Money Management Program Volunteer Opportunities are available in your area: