Representative Payee Program

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What is the representative payee program?

In 2018, Congress passed a bill that that created the Representative Payee Review Program. It is called the Strengthening Oversight and Beneficiary Protections Act (HR 4547). It lets P&As like the DRC review Representative Payees within the Social Security Administration.

What is a representative payee?

If you receive social security benefits, you should decide how the money is spent. You might have a representative payee that helps you manage that money. Your payee may be a friend, relative or agency. 

Ideally, your payee is a family member or friend. This is an individual payee.

Sometimes an agency in the community acts as the payee.  This is an organizational payee. For example, this could be your county’s social services agency.

An organizational payee might be a residential facility, like a group home, assisted living facility, or nursing home. Your facility can’t force you to make them your payee.

What can DRC do under the Rep Payee program?

Unfortunately, sometimes representative payees (also called rep payees or payees) have stolen or misused money from the people with disabilities that they were supposed to be helping.  Representative payees are supposed to help manage the money you receive from social security.

We help protect beneficiaries from financial exploitation or other abuse. We can help make sure that your funds are being used in your best interest.

The Rep Payee program lets us review payees.

A review may include:

  • Educating a payee on their responsibilities
  • Interviewing the individual or organizational payee
  • Reviewing the payee’s financial records
  • Visiting the beneficiary at their home. This may also include an interview with the beneficiary’s legal guardian or other people, if necessary                                                                     

If a Rep Payee is found to be mishandling money, we work with the payee on a plan to improve. The Social Security Administration approves this plan. DRC makes sure that the payee follows this plan.

How does DRC get cases to review?

Sometimes, the Social Security Administration gives us cases. They might be random. They also might be cases that they are concerned about.

We can also review cases if someone tells us that they are concerned about a payee. If you have concerns about your payee or someone else’s, contact the Disability Rights Center of Kansas.

This webpage content is funded through a Social Security grant agreement. Although Social Security reviewed this content for accuracy, it does not constitute an official Social Security communication. We developed this website page at U.S. taxpayer expense.

Representative Payee Program