As a representative payee, you are responsible for keeping records and, when requested, reporting to us how you spend the benefits received on behalf of a Social Security beneficiary or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipient.
You may receive a Representative Payee Report form for you to account for the Social Security or SSI benefits received or we may select you for a representative payee review. The review is to determine if you have performed the following duties:
- Managed funds so the beneficiary(ies) have no unmet current needs
- Accounted for all funds received and spent
- Conserved any unspent funds in appropriate manner, and
- Complied with representative payee accounting and reporting responsibilities.
Protection and Advocacy System (P&As)
On April 13, the President signed the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018. The law directs state Protection & Advocacy (P&A) system organizations to conduct all periodic onsite reviews along with additional discretionary reviews. In addition, the P&As will conduct educational visits and conduct reviews based on allegations they receive of payee misconduct.
The P&A conducts a review, which includes:
- an interview with the individual or organizational representative payee;
- a review of the representative payee’s financial records for the requested beneficiary or sample of beneficiaries served;
- a home visit and interview for each beneficiary included in the review; and
- an interview with legal guardians and third parties, when applicable.
Financial Records Representative Payees Should Have Available for Review
When the P&A schedules the review, the reviewer will request the records needed for each beneficiary. Some common financial documents that representative payees may be asked to provide are:
- a beneficiary budget;
- a beneficiary ledger;
- individual bank statements;
- Collective account bank statements;
- receipts of income;
- account balances;
- bank reconciliation records;
- cancelled checks;
- expense documentation including receipts, bills, and rental agreements;
- how the payee keeps conserved benefits (e.g., checking, savings, etc.); and
- any other financial documents that pertain to a beneficiary’s Social Security and/or SSI benefits.
For your convenience, a sample account ledger is available online at Monthly Beneficiary Accounting Ledger.
Results of Review
If the results of the review find that you (the payee) are not fulfilling the duties of a representative payee, corrective action(s) may be required in order for you to continue to serve. The P&A or SSA will contact you to explain the findings and initiate a corrective action. Once all corrective actions are satisfactorily completed, the P&A or SSA will notify you in writing that the review is complete.
If the review finds that no corrective action is required, the representative payee will receive a notice advising them that the review is complete.
Information for Beneficiaries, Legal Guardians, and Third Parties
To ensure satisfactory oversight of Social Security and SSI benefits, the P&A will conduct a home visit and interview of beneficiaries served by the representative payee selected for a review. If applicable, the P&A will also conduct an interview with legal guardians or third parties.
Contacting Social Security
Please visit our website at www.socialsecurity.gov or if you need to speak to someone, call us toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call our TTY number at 1-800-325-0778.
For additional information about representative payees, please visit www.ssa.gov/payee/.