A representative payee is a person or organization who has been appointed to help beneficiaries manage their benefits.
Representative payees can be appointed through the Social Security Administration (SSA) or the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA). The most common representative payee is a family member or close friend. If that isn’t possible there are organizations that can serve as well.
The Responsibilities of a Representative Payee
The primary responsibility of a representative payee is to use the benefits to pay for the “current and foreseeable needs” of the beneficiary. Any money that is left over has to be appropriately saved. Keeping good records of how the benefits are spent is important.
Representative payees must also complete a report on how the funds were spend on behalf of the beneficiary.
Reporting Dereliction of Duty or Abuse of Power
There are many things that a representative payee is not allowed to do. Among these are using benefits for their own personal expenses, and mismanaging the beneficiaries finances.
If you believe that a representative payee is not performing their assigned duties properly or abusing the funds that they are receiving, you should notify the authorities and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the SSA or VA, depending on which organization disperses the benefits.
Before submitting a claim, make sure that you have compiled as much information about the case as possible. This should include as much specific information about the incident or incidents as possible (i.e. date, location, involved persons, how the abuse was committed, where and what the money was spent on, etc.)
Make sure you have all this information ready to go when you report a case of abuse.
Getting Representative Payee Bonds
A bond can be required as a representative payee. To apply or to learn more about the process, contact one of our agents.
Disclaimer: this is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. If you need legal counsel, please contact an attorney directly.