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Money Management

You have the right to manage your own money and property until a court finds that you are incapable of doing so, and orders the appointment of a conservator. You can also ask the Probate Court to appoint a voluntary “conservator of estate” to manage your money. 

If someone else thinks that you are unable to manage your own money as a result of your mental health condition, they can apply to the Probate Court to have a conservator of estate appointed over your objection.  [You can see CLRP's page on conservatorship for more information about this process.]  

Before a conservator is appointed, the court should examine less restrictive alternatives, such as a durable power of attorney, automatic bill-paying, or voluntary participation in a money management program.  

If your mental health condition makes it difficult for you to manage your money or make a budget for your necessary expenses and paying your bills on time,  a money management program may be helpful to you. These programs are designed to help you improve your skills in making decisions about your money, and work towards being able to manage your money independently.

Some DMHAS-funded programs offer a range of services to help people manage their benefits.  You might voluntarily choose to enroll in the money management program.  You also might request that Social Security appoint a program to serve as your Representative Payee. 

That means that your monthly SSI or SSDI check would go to the program, and they would be responsible for making sure your bills (rent, utilities, etc.) are paid on time, and you may get an “allowance” from what is left over after your bills are paid. 

If you have a conservator, the conservator may give you a limited amount of money each month to spend as you wish, after your bills are paid. You may be eligible for help from a money management program if you have difficulty managing this amount of money. 

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