Social Security: What are Representative Payees?

Social Security: What are Representative Payees?

Social Security representative payees
Representative payess are crucial to social security benefits.

When an individual who receives Social Security benefits is not able to put them to proper use because of a mental/physical condition or because of their young age, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may appoint a person or organization as that individual’s representative payee. Social Security representative payees are people or organizations that manage an individual’s Social Security benefits on their behalf.

More About Representative Payees

The SSA may determine that  the best interest of a beneficiary suggests the appointing of a representative payee. Usually, the SSA determines this if the individual has difficulty remembering, reasoning, or understanding the consequences of their actions. This limits their ability to plan for their financial future. Problems may then arise because when they receive their money, they may not use it in an appropriate manner.

Representative payees help ensure that beneficiaries do not miss payments or run out of money to purchase daily essentials. They do this by managing an individual’s Social Security benefits in the following ways:

  • They put beneficiary money towards current needs. These include housing costs, utility costs, food, medical expenses, dental expenses, clothing, and personal care items.
  • They must also pay past-due bills, help support any dependents the individual might have, or provide entertainment.

The representative payee must also keep records of how they manage the benefits and report the information to the SSA.

Social Security Representative Payees Approval Process

The first step that the Social Security Administration will take is to try and find a close family member or friend who is willing to serve as the representative payee. This tends to be the best way to choose a representative payee since it will be someone the individual knows and that they can trust.

To become a representative payee, you will need to complete the Representative Payee Accounting Report online. Furthermore, anyone that wants to become the Representative Payee that is under the age of 18 will need to complete a paper Representative Payee Report via the mail.

If a person cannot find a representative payee, then the Social Security Administration will find an organization or professional individual. They do this through their partnership with ISN Corporation (Information Systems Network & Corporation). The ISN Corporation performs nationwide site reviews for organizations and also for pre-selected individuals that need Social Security representative payees.

What to do if a Representative Payee is Needed

Someone you know receiving benefits? Do you believe they do not manage their funds correctly? Call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 to schedule an appointment to address your concerns.

For more information about Social Security representative payees or about Social Security benefits in general, be sure to contact us. You can call us at 602-952-3200 to schedule a free consultation, or you can take advantage of our LiveChat feature.

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, the information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.

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