The Social Security Administration (SSA) reports that more than eight million people who receive monthly Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits need help to manage their benefits. To assist these beneficiaries, the SSA may appoint a “representative payee” to act on their behalf within certain limitations. Before appointing a representative payee, the SSA is required to evaluate medical and other types of evidence about a beneficiary’s ability to manage his or her SSI benefits.
A representative payee is a person, agency, organization or institution selected by the SSA to manage a beneficiary’s funds when it determines that a claimant is unable to do so independently. Because a representative payee has the authority to use disability benefits on behalf of the beneficiary, the SSA thoroughly investigates representative payee applicants to protect the interests of Social Security disability benefit recipients.
Certain individuals such as most children under the age of 18; legally incompetent adults; and anyone that the SSA determines is incapable of managing or directing the management of his or her funds, must have a representative payee.
Certain individuals may serve as a representative payee. These include:
- An individual concerned with a beneficiary’s welfare, such as a parent, spouse, close relative, guardian, or friend;
- an institution, such as a nursing home or health care provider;
- a public or nonprofit agency, social service agency, or financial organization;
- providers or administrative officers at homeless shelters; or
- a community based non-profit agency that has been approved by SSA to charge a fee for its services as a payee representative.
A representative payee typically may not collect a fee for services provided to a beneficiary. A fee may not be collected unless approved by the SSA, or the representative payee is a legal guardian authorized by a court to charge such a fee.
One of the best ways to make sure you understand all of your options associated with applying for disability benefits is to retain the services of an experienced, knowledgeable and qualified Kentucky Social Security Disability attorney. Contact Sullivan Law Office today. We offer free consultations, so there is absolutely nothing to lose! We look forward to hearing from you. We look forward to hearing from you. Call 888-587-0228 or visit us online.