Selected Research & Analysis: Representative Payees
Adult OASDI Beneficiaries and SSI Recipients Who Need Representative Payees: Projections for 2025 and 2035
This article examines how changing demographics might affect the number of adult OASDI beneficiaries and SSI recipients who need a representative payee to manage their benefit payments. The authors use administrative data and projections from the Modeling Income in the Near Term (MINT) model to project the number of beneficiaries who will need a representative payee, with detail by beneficiary age, program type, and type of payee. Demand for representative payees is projected to grow over the next two decades as the retired-worker population increases. Because retired-worker beneficiaries are less likely than disabled-worker beneficiaries to have a family member serve as their representative payee, the Social Security Administration will need to increase efforts to recruit and monitor nonfamily representative payees. The authors describe ongoing agency efforts to prepare for the projected growth in demand for representative payees.
Selected Characteristics and Self-Perceived Performance of Individual Social Security and Supplemental Security Income Representative Payees
Social Security beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income recipients who are unable to manage their own benefits may be assisted by relatives, friends, or other interested individuals, called representative payees. This note examines the characteristics of these payees, the payees' assessment of their own performance, and whether they believe their beneficiaries' needs are met. Using results of a survey of representative payees conducted by Westat, Inc. for a 2007 National Research Council report, this note also examines the importance of indicators of potential misuse identified in that report.
Most persons under the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program or the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program receive the checks in their own name and make their own decisions as to the use of the funds. However, there has always been a portion of the beneficiary population who, for a variety of reasons, are not able to manage their benefits alone.
This note gives an overview of the representative payee program, including a program description and brief history, a "snapshot" of some characteristics of the population receiving Social Security benefits and SSI payments through a representative payee, recent trends in the number of persons with payees receiving such benefits or payments, and legislative and policy responses to these trends.