Social Security Administration: Representative Payees Help You Manage Your Social Security

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Courtesy of Social Security Administration

Some people who receive monthly Social Security benefits or Supplemental Security Income payments may need help managing their money. When the Social Security Administration receives information that indicates someone needs help, Social Security will work with them to find the most suitable representative payee to manage benefits.

A representative payee is someone who receives the monthly benefit payment on the recipient’s behalf and must use the money to pay for current needs.

These include:

  • Food.
  • Clothing.
  • Personal care items.
  • Housing and utilities.
  • Medical and dental expenses.
  • Rehabilitation expenses (if the recipient havs a disability).

If an individual need help managing their benefits, tell a Social Security representative that there is someone else to be a representative payee.

A representative payee should be someone the recipient trusts and see often, and who clearly understands the recipient’s needs.

Social service agencies, nursing homes, or other organizations are also qualified to be a representative payee. Ask them to contact Social Security.

An individual can write to Social Security within 60 days of being assigned a representative payee if they don’t agree that a recipient needs one or if they want a different representative payee.

Social Security also offers Advance Designation, which allows a recipient to designate someone to be they representative payee in the future. There may come a time when a recipient can no longer make their own financial decisions. The recipient and their family will have peace of mind knowing that someone they trust may be appointed to manage benefits.

A recipient can submit their Advance Designation request when they apply for benefits or after they are already receiving benefits. They may do so through they personal my Social Security account at or by calling and speaking to a Social Security representative.

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