Representative Payee Law

“The Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018” was signed into law on April 13, 2018. One of the provisions of this law is to strengthen the monitoring of representative payees. This law allows all state Protection & Advocacy agencies to:

  • Conduct all periodic onsite reviews and additional discretionary reviews;
  • Develop corrective action plans;
  • Submit review reports to Social Security Administration (SSA); and,
  • Conduct initial onsite assessments of fee-for-service (FFS) organizations.

This law also expands the required periodic onsite reviews to include individual (including family members) and organizational payees based on risk of potential misuse or unsuitability.

What is a Representative Payee?

A representative payee is a person or an organization. SSA appoints a representative payee to receive the Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for anyone who can’t manage or direct the management of his or her benefits.

SSA categorizes representative payees into two groups:

  • Individual payees: These include relatives, guardians, friends, or any other interested person who is in a position to care for the beneficiary.
  • Organizational payees: These can include social service agencies, institutions, State or local government agencies, or financial institutions.

What is the Role of a Representative Payee?

A representative payee plays a vital role in serving SSA beneficiaries. A representative payee decides how to spend benefits to help create a stable living environment for the beneficiary and ensure that the basic current needs of food, shelter, clothing, and medical care are met. Once current needs are met, you must save any leftover funds for the beneficiary’s future use.

How Can DRM Help?

What Do I Do if I Believe a Beneficiary’s Needs Are Not Being Met?

If you believe a beneficiary’s needs are not being met by their representative payee, you may contact DRM to discuss your concerns with DRM staff. They can be reached by calling 800.288.5923 (toll free in MI) or 517.487.1755.

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