THE BOSTON MONEY MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
For many seniors, the inability to keep track of their household finances may lead to bounced checks, unpaid bills, undeposited checks, cut-off utilities, bank foreclosure, or even eviction. If nothing is done about the problem, then guardianship or institutionalization may follow. Simple money-management issues can snowball and can result in the loss of elders’ rights to make decisions about where they live, what happens to their property, and how their money is spent.
The Boston Money Management Program ( BMMP) was established in 1991 to safeguard low income seniors and adults with disabilities and to help them avoid the dire consequences of ongoing financial mismanagement. The BMMP also protects seniors from financial exploitation, preserving their dignity, stability and independence. BMMP is a free bill paying service available to qualified Metropolitan Boston residents. There are two unique services available: the Bill Payer Program and the Representative Payee Program.
Through two distinct services, the BMMP provides Boston’s most vulnerable elders and individuals with disabilities with the information and resources to remain financially independent. Upon enrollment and at scheduled home visits, all BMMP clients receive education on topics such as budgeting, bill paying, security, and scams and frauds.
Furthermore, the BMMP works with the client to set up and execute a responsible and mutually agreed-upon spending plan, which includes some money set aside for savings. The support provided by the BMMP allows clients to achieve economic security and to maintain independence and peace of mind.
The BMMP provides an essential service for the individuals it serves, as the program is often our clients’ last line of defense against losing basic needs:
Housing - late of insufficient rent or mortgage payments could result in individuals being forced to leave the comfort and familiarity of their homes and neighborhoods and move to costly nursing facilities or, at worst, become homeless.
Essential utilities – late or insufficient payments could lead to the termination of heating, air conditioning, basic telephone service and/or electricity, putting seniors and their health at great risk. While the loss of any of these utilities would be difficult, the loss of telephone service would cut off critical links to physicians, emergency personnel and family and friends.