If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments and you need someone to help you manage your money you can designate a representative payee. A representative payee is an individual chosen by the Social Security Administration (SSA) who will help you manage the disability payments you receive. Depending on each individual’s circumstance, the SSA may appoint a representative payee even if he or she does not request one. The SSA requires that all minor children and legally incompetent adults have a representative payee.
The representative payee performs a variety of functions for you in order to make sure that all of your affairs are in order. The payee will receive your monthly payments on your behalf and will allocate your benefits toward your expenses including housing, utilities, food, medical care and clothing. If any money is left over your payee will use this money to help you catch up on past-due bills or support your dependents. The payee is also responsible for keeping accurate records of your payments as well as how your money was spent and then report that information to the SSA.
The representative payee is usually someone you already know and that is willing to help you manage your affairs. This is done to ensure that you see the payee often and that they are aware of what your individual needs are. In some cases your payee may be your spouse. You can also have your disability lawyer or accountant act as your payee.
A Representative payee cannot collect a fee, unless he or she is an organizational employee who has been approved by the SSA to collect a fee. If you would like to become a representative payee for an individual receiving disability benefits, then you must submit form SSA-11 to your closest Social Security Office during a face-to-face interview.