Becoming a representative payee is a critical component of assisting individuals to access SSI/SSDI. People whom the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines to need a payee don’t always have friends or family members who can provide this assistance. Or, they may be faced with asking someone to serve as representative payee who may not ensure that the benefits are spent as intended.
Organizations are often reluctant to provide this service because they are concerned about liability, potential conflicts of interest, and the amount of time and effort this service may take. Yet, for community service providers, serving as representative payee can also be an opportunity to stay connected with individuals, learn more about their wants, and needs, and assist them in becoming their own payee.
This document provides basic information on representative payees, addresses the requirements of being a payee, explores models of setting up a payee system, and encourages organizations and communities to address the need for payees as part of their planning to end homelessness.
For more information on payees, go to the Representative Payee section of the Social Security website.
Read the issue brief: Organizational Representative Payees: Some Practical Suggestions (PDF)