Sometimes a person who receives Social Security or Supplemental Security Income is not able to manage their own benefits. Social Security reviews the situation and determines if a representative payee is needed and who it should be. Social Security looks for a person or organization that will best serve the interests of the beneficiary. Sometimes that will be a family member or a friend. We want to find someone who has a strong and continuing interest in the welfare of the beneficiary. Sometimes Social Security appoints organizations who have meet certain requirements to be the beneficiary’s payee.
Some organizations are called fee-for-service organizations. When they meet certain requirements and are approved by Social Security, they may charge a fee for serving as the representative payee for the individual. Organizations may charge the lesser of ten percent of the monthly payment or $42.00 per month. $42.00 is an increase of one dollar per month from the 2017 amount of $41.00 per month.
A beneficiary with a drug or alcohol addiction may have difficulty handling his or her own funds in a responsible manner. As in the case of every other beneficiary, we will determine, on a case-by-case basis, if they need a payee.
If we decide a beneficiary with a drug or alcohol addiction is incapable of managing their funds, we will select a payee for them. In these cases, we often select as payee an organization or agency experienced in serving individuals with addictions since these are often in the best position to know these individuals’ special needs.
Whether an individual is serving as a payee or an organization is serving as a payee, the responsibilities of the representative payee are the same: use the payments to meet the beneficiary’s current needs, conserve any unused funds in an account for the beneficiary, report changes to Social Security and keep records of funds received and spent.
For more information about organizational representative payees, visit this link: www.socialsecurity.gov/payee/NewGuide/toc.htm#Duties_Payee.