Representative Payee

Duties of a Representative Payee

An individual or organization appointed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) or Veteran’s Administration (VA) to receive benefits for someone who cannot manage their money is a representative payee. The main duties of a representative payee are to use the benefits to pay for the current and probable needs of the beneficiary.

A representative payee also has the responsibility to properly save any benefits not needed to meet their daily needs and to keep records of all expenses. If a report is called upon by the Social Security Administration or Veteran’s Administration, a representative payee must provide accounting documentation to the SSA or VA detailing how the benefits were used or saved.

The Social Security Administration must readily review how representative payee’s used the benefits they received. One of the duties of the representative payee is to fill out a Representative Payee Report detailing the use of benefits.

Records of bank statements, cancelled checks, receipts for rent, etc. should be kept for several years after the Representative Payee Form is completed. A representative payee is appointed by the Social Security Administration to handle the accounts of Social Security benefits only. Representative payee accounts are not joint accounts with rights of survivorship. They are single ownership accounts.

Representative payee services are qualified by submitting an application to collect a fee to the Social Security Administration (or VA for veterans benefits). A Representative Payee bond is usually required because it helps protect the beneficiary as well as the SSA or VA from theft or mismanagement of funds.