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Representative Payee and Social Security Disability Benefits

Posted on in Social Security Disability

Congratulations, you may have been approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Hopefully, the government awarded you with a nice sized retroactive back benefit award as well. When you read through the written decision, you may come across something that mentions the need for a representative payee. What is a representative payee and why do you need one?

In cases where the Social Security Administration (SSA) has approved a claim for an individual who has a diagnosed mental condition interfering with his or her ability to manage finances, the government may require someone to manage them for him. The person managing the funds can be a friend, family member, private agency, or Social Services. SSA will disperse the disability benefits directly to the representative payee who will in turn be charged with giving it to the disabled person, landlord, creditors, or any other places as necessary.

What is the representative payee paid for his or her services? Some private agencies may charge a small fee for their services. Social Services is prohibited from charging a fee. Friends and family typically will not charge anything.

It is very important that a lot of thought goes into who will be designated as the representative payee. This person will have considerable responsibility. It is not unheard of for an individual to take advantage of a disabled person financially in these circumstances. Make sure the right representative payee is chosen for you.

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