“Why do I have to fill out a check disbursement request form, if I can just submit my receipts/invoices into you? Isn’t that enough?”
We run into this scenario quite frequently when processing beneficiaries’ check disbursement request forms (DRF). We know that filling out disbursement request forms for different payees can take time. However, CPT as Trustee, has an obligation to maintain appropriate documentation on file for every transaction per beneficiary and to make sure that checks being delivered are accurate. Why?
If the Social Security Administration (SSA) audited a beneficiary’s Special Needs Trust, CPT would have to provide proof of all the transactions and explanations. If CPT is unable to provide the necessary documentation, a beneficiary’s benefits could be in jeopardy.
In addition, Disbursement request forms are to be treated like an actual check. All the pertinent information that goes on a check, are placed in the necessary fields on our disbursement request forms. If a check disbursement request form is not filled out properly and submitted in a timely manner, check disbursements could be delayed resulting in late payments to desired payees. Every disbursement check request form requires a date and signature from either the beneficiary or the advocate that he/she has personally appointed. If we notice a discrepancy, we contact the beneficiary or advocate immediately.
We have established specific, yet, easier procedures to better assist beneficiaries and their advocates. We offer orientations to assist beneficiaries and advocates on how to complete and submit check disbursement request forms, as well as, how to use the trust and which allowable items are able to be purchased from their Special Needs Trust without jeopardizing a beneficiary’s benefits. Beneficiaries and advocates are even able to submit check disbursement request forms via email, fax, or even through our Android and iPhone applications from cellular devices.
Keep in mind, not only does a beneficiary have to submit a disbursement check request form for a different payee every time a check disbursement is requested, but all relevant receipts and invoices relating to the check disbursement request must be attached to be processed. CPT, as Trustee, has the duty to protect beneficiaries from having any risk against their benefits and from any false or suspicious check disbursement requests from being processed.
William E. Lindahl, MBA, CLPF