1601.When does a beneficiary need a representative payee?
1601.1When does SSA select a representative payee?
When we determine a beneficiary is unable to manage or direct the management of his or her funds, we select either an individual or an organization to serve as a representative payee. If we determine a representative payee is necessary, we say these beneficiaries are incapable of managing their benefits.
1601.2Must a beneficiary be declared legally incompetent before a representative payee is selected?
No. While it is true that a legally incompetent beneficiary must have a payee, we may determine that other beneficiaries need a payee as well.
We initially presume that all legally competent adult beneficiaries are capable of managing or directing the management of their funds. The facts of a case may convince us that a legally competent beneficiary is not capable and we will select a payee.
We also generally consider beneficiaries under the age of 18 incapable of managing their own funds and in need of a payee.
1601.3What will cause SSA to select a representative payee?
We will not select a representative payee unless we have convincing evidence that an adult beneficiary is incapable of managing or directing the management of his or her funds. (See §§ 1604-1607 for a discussion of evidence.)
Last Revised: Nov. 16, 2010