Q:

Who can use a representative payee form?

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Quick Answer

Any person wishing to be appointed as a representative payee for a recipient of Social Security or SSI can use a representative payee form to request appointment. Family, friends or qualified organizations may serve as payees.

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Full Answer

The specific form for becoming a representative payee is form SSA-11, Request to Be Selected as Payee. To receive the SSA-11 form, the person requesting appointment as a representative payee contacts the nearest SSA office. Documents to prove the potential representative payee’s identity must also be presented. A face-to-face interview with the SSA is required, although there are some exceptions to this requirement.

The duty of the representative payee is to manage the Social Security or SSI benefits of a recipient who is not capable of managing finances on his own, according to the SSA. Payees are tasked with using the benefits to pay for necessary expenses and saving benefits not used for specific needs.

A big part of being a representative payee is keeping a report of expenses and filling out proper reports of those expenses upon request. Reports prove to the SSA how the recipient’s benefits were used. Notably, being an authorized representative or having a power-of-attorney over the recipient is not the equivalent of being a representative payee. The representative payee can only be appointed by the SSA.

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