Social Security and Representative Payees
Aug. 31, 2022
Do you have a close friend or family member who collects Social Security, but has difficulty managing their payments or similar finances? If so, they may need to assign someone as their representative payee. Keep reading to find out more and what a payee is able to do.
A representative payee is any trusted individual who is given access to Social Security benefits for a beneficiary, such as a friend or relative. In certain circumstances, the beneficiary will require extra assistance to help use their benefits to pay bills, handle taxes, and more. It’s crucial to note, all of the benefits belong to the rightful owner, the beneficiary.
The job of the representative payee will include four major responsibilities. These include:
Using the money for the best needs of the beneficiary. As stated above, you cannot use, borrow, or lend the money in place of your own.
Managing the money to fulfill payments for the beneficiary, such as monthly bills.
Separating the benefits into another bank account. A payee can open an account solely for the beneficiary, but must sign with the accompanied title of “representative payee” to advise others that the money is not their own.
Recording transactions by keeping track of the money, collecting receipts, filing annual reports, and more.
Representative payees must also communicate with other individuals who assist the beneficiary in other aspects of their life. Similarly, if the beneficiary is not their family member and the beneficiary has family, the payee must keep them informed of their actions to decrease any chance of a misunderstanding. Since the benefits are directly handled by the payee, all violations or problems will fall under the responsibility of their own. If the Social Security Administration (SSA) identifies an act of wrongdoing, the payee must replace the money out of their own pocket.