Representative Payee

We developed these pages to support you in your role as a representative payee for the Social Security Administration (SSA). We value the service you provide for our most vulnerable beneficiaries and are committed to working with you as you perform this important service.

If you have any questions or need more information about the Representative Payee Pro Bono Pilot, please send an email to Pro Bono Pilot.

What Is a Representative Payee?

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

  • Use benefit payments received to pay for the current and foreseeable needs of the beneficiary.
  • Save any benefit payments not needed to meet current needs.
  • Keep accurate records of how you used the benefit payments.
  • Report changes that may affect benefit payments.

NOTE: Having a 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 or SSI payments. You must apply for and be appointed as a representative 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. Individual payees are never authorized by SSA to charge fees, though some may receive a fee for the services performed as a legal guardian.