Sometimes, people who receive Social Security Benefits are not able to handle their own funds. In those cases, the Social Security Administration (SSA) appoints a family member, friend, or another individual or organization to handle their Social Security benefits.
Responsibilities of a Representative Payee:
Some of the duties of a Representative Payee include:
Determining the beneficiary’s total needs and using the Social Security benefits received in the best interests of the beneficiary;
Maintaining a continuing awareness of the beneficiary’s needs and condition;
Applying the Social Security Benefit payments only for the beneficiary’s own use and benefit; and
Reporting to SSA any event that will affect the amount of benefits the beneficiary receives and in some cases to give SSA written reports accounting for the use of the benefits.
What Representative Payees Should NOT Do:
Representative Payees cannot:
Use a beneficiary’s funds for their own personal expenses, or spend funds in a way that would leave the beneficiary without necessary items or services (housing, food and medical care);
Put a beneficiary’s Social Security funds in the Representative Payee’s or another person’s account;
Keep funds once he or she is no longer a Representative Payee for the beneficiary; and
Charge the beneficiary a fee for services unless authorized by the Social Security Administration to do so.
If you feel that a Representative Payee has in some way misused the benefits being issued for a beneficiary, you should contact the Social Security Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271.