What Is Social Security's Representative Payment Program?


Quick Answer

The Social Security Representatives Payee Program is a program designed for financial management of the Social Security and SSI payments to beneficiaries who are unable to manage their own benefits. Social Security generally allows family or friends to serve as representatives for benefit recipients.

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Full Answer

A representative payee is an organization or individual appointed by the Social Security Administration to receive SSI or other Social Security benefits for a person who cannot manage his money. The biggest responsibilities of a payee are to pay for the current and future needs of the beneficiary using his Social Security benefits, as well as save benefits that are not currently needed for the beneficiary. The payee must keep a detailed record of expenses. When the Social Security Administration requests a report from the payee, the payee must provide an accounting of how the benefits were used and how much of the benefits were saved.

Other duties of the payee are to report changes of events that could affect the eligibility of the beneficiary or the beneficiary's payment amount; provide the necessary benefit information to medical facilities and social service agencies that serve the beneficiary; assist the beneficiary in receiving necessary medical treatment; and notify the Social Security Administration of any changes in the payee's circumstances that may affect the payee's performance.

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