What is a Social Security representative payee?
A Social Security representative payee is appointed by the Social Security Administration to manage Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefit payments for people who need help managing their money.
Being appointed as a Social Security representative payee
If you’re appointed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as a representative payee, you manage Social Security or Supplemental Security benefits from the SSA. You’re considered a fiduciary, meaning that you must – by law – manage the beneficiary’s money for their interests and not yours.
Being a Social Security representative payee doesn’t mean that you manage other money or property for the beneficiary, unless you’ve been given other legal authority, such as being appointed a guardian of property by a court or as an agent under a power of attorney.
Choosing a Social Security representative payee to help manage your benefits
If you want help managing your benefits or anticipate needing help in the future, Social Security Advance Designation lets you choose up to three people to serve as your representative payee. With Advance Designation, you still manage your own benefits for as long as you’re able, but if your situation changes and you need help, the SSA will evaluate your Advance Designation to make sure the person you chose is suitable to serve as your representative payee at that time.