Money Management

Opening a bank account is also something that all adults need to do. Bank accounts can be individual or joint (with a parent, guardian, spouse, etc.). If an individual applies for and receives Social Security Supplemental Security Income(SSI), a separate and specially set up bank account is needed for these deposits.

Having a bank account can help individuals establish credit and manage their money. For adults that need help with this, a joint bank account can be part of a supported decision-making agreement. It can help prevent unwise spending. It can also help prevent financial exploitation. By having two people on the account, a person with a disability is less likely to be taken advantage of by people who want to “borrow” money or ask for financial gifts. Other features may include pre-set limit debit/credit cards or dual signatures on checks. The helper can also monitor the account and track spending.

There are legal options if your adult child can’t manage their finances, including serving as your child’s representative payee (SSI) and/or fiscal conservator (described later in the Decision-Making Options section) The Social Security Administration appoints representative payees. You may serve as one or both depending on your adult child’s needs.

Table of Contents