Social Security Payee
The largest benefit program administered by the SSA is the Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance (RSDI) program, commonly referred to as Social Security. The second largest program is the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. These programs may be the sole source of income for many Americans.
Social Security is a social insurance program that protects workers and their families from a loss of earnings because of retirement, death, or disability. Social Security benefits are entitlements based on the earnings of workers who have made contributions into the system.
SSI is a Federal income maintenance program for aged, blind, and disabled persons with little or no income or resources. The United States Treasury's general funds provide financing for this program; funding is NOT from Social security contributions. SSI is a needs-based program and the amount of resources or income an individual has may affect eligibility to payments.
When an adult is unable to manage or direct the management of his or her own funds SSA may need to appoint a representative payee. SSA usually looks for a payee among the beneficiary's family and friends. For a small segment of the population, these traditional networks of support are not available. SSI rely's on state, local, or community sources to fill the need.
Payees play a vital role in serving SS or SSI beneficiaries. They help to ensure that benefit payments are used for basic needs first, providing the beneficiary with a more stable living environment. Once a beneficiary's basic needs are met, any funds leftover must be saved for that specific beneficiary's future use.
What is a Representative Payee?
A representative payee is an individual or organization appointed by SSA to receive Social Security and/or SSA benefits for someone who cannot manage or direct someone else to manage their money. The main responsibility as a payee is to use the benefits to pay for current and foreseeable needs of the beneficiary.
Who Needs a Representative Payee?
SSA assumes adult beneficiaries are cable of managing their money unless there is evidence to the contrary. When SSA determines a beneficiary cannot manage or direct someone else to manage their Social Security and/or SSI benefits a representative payee is appointed by SSA.
What are the Duties of a Representative Payee?
- Determine the beneficiary's current needs for day-today living and use the SS and/or SSI payment to meet these needs;
- Save any money leftover after meeting the beneficiary's current need in a checking or savings account.
- If a large payment representing several months or years of benefits should be spend or conserved wisely, in the best interest of the beneficiary.
- Report any event that affects the beneficiary's payment or entitlement to benefits and promptly return any payment that the beneficiary is not due.
- Keep written records for at least 2 years of all payments received from SSA, bank statements and cancelled checks, receipts or cancelled checks for rent, utilities, and major purchases made for a beneficiary.
- Return all conserved funds to SSA if you stop being the beneficiary's payee.
- Notify SSA if the beneficiary dies and return any conserved funds to the legal representative of the beneficiary's estate
Our Fees for Social Security Representative Payee Services
- 2010 Fee based on SSA guidelines $38/month*
*Plus out of pocket expenses - $7.00 per month to pay for postage, banking online fees, long distance, etc.