Representative Payee

The Kansas City Region developed these pages to support you in your role as representative payee for the Social Security Administration. We value the service you provide for our most vulnerable beneficiaries and realize the challenges you face performing these duties. We believe that a more responsive and effective program is within our reach. We are committed to working with you to achieve that goal.

What Is a Representative Payee?

A representative payee is an individual or organization appointed by SSA that receives Social Security and/or SSI payments for someone who cannot manage or direct someone else to manage his/her money. Your main responsibilities as a payee are to:

  • Use funds received to pay for the current and foreseeable needs of the beneficiary
  • Save any funds not needed to meet current needs.
  • Keep accurate records of how you used the beneficiary’s money.

NOTE: Having power of attorney, being an authorized representative or having a joint bank account with the beneficiary is not the same as being a payee. These arrangements do not give you legal authority to negotiate and manage payments for someone receiving Social Security and/or SSI payments. You must apply for and be appointed as a payee by SSA.

Individual Representative Payees

An individual representative payee could be someone that a beneficiary lives with, a family member or a friend who does not live with the beneficiary. It could also be a lawyer, a legal guardian, or a volunteer for a government or non-profit agency. In most cases, individual payees provide our beneficiaries payee services without compensation. Individual payees are never authorized by SSA to charge fees, though some may receive a fee for the services performed as a legal guardian.

Organizational Representative Payees

An organizational representative payee is a social service agency, institution, and official of a state or local government agency or a financial organization. While most organizational payees may not collect a fee for providing payee services, those that meet special requirements may do so. Fee for Service (FFS) payees must file a request and receive written authorization from SSA before they can collect a fee from the beneficiary.