Using Funds and Keeping Records

Using Funds

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:

  • Food
  • Housing
  • Clothing
  • 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.

Keeping Records

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:

  • Receipts
  • Bank statements (including electronic versions)
  • Leases (rental agreements)
  • Cancelled checks (including electronic versions)
  • Bills
  • Invoices
  • 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.