Using Funds and Keeping Records
The most important duty of a representative payee is to know the needs of each beneficiary/recipient for whom they are payee and to use the benefit payments they receive in the best interests of that beneficiary/recipient. As a representative payee, all payments received from the Social Security Administration (SSA) must be used for the individual's current maintenance needs or saved for future needs. Current needs include:
- Medical care
- Personal comfort items.
NOTE: A representative payee should not sacrifice current maintenance needs to pay other expenses or conserve, invest, or accumulate money for a future purpose.
Representative payees are required to maintain detailed and accurate records of all benefit payments received and spent in order to provide a true accounting to SSA. A detailed record of expenditures may include:
- Bank statements (including electronic versions)
- Leases (rental agreements)
- Cancelled checks (including electronic versions)
- Statements signed by the claimant confirming receipt of funds for personal use
NOTE: A representative payee must save records for at least two years and make them available to SSA upon request.
In addition to the above documentation, individual representative payees may use a worksheet or ledgerto document all deposits and expenses for the beneficiary/recipient.