What is a Social Security Representative Payee?
If you are unable to manage your Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits (or if the Social Security Administration (SSA) thinks you can't) you will need someone to serve as your representative payee (often called a rep payee or payee). Your payee will be responsible for taking care of your benefits, and should be someone who cares about you and whom you trust to handle your money. You can get a payee in either of two ways: SSA can choose one for you or can you choose one.
You can choose almost any adult, with the following exceptions:
• You must not choose a person who provides a service to you for money (such as your doctor or your landlord) unless that person is a relative or is your legal guardian;
• You must not choose a person who has previously misused anyone's Social Security benefits, and
• You must not choose a person who has ever been found guilty of a crime against SSA.
The person you choose must provide proof of identity and a Social Security card to SSA. The person should also go with you to any interviews you have with SSA, if possible.
If you are unable to find a payee, SSA will give you a list of agencies that can serve as your payee. While you are reviewing the agencies on this list, SSA will keep paying your benefits directly to you while it determines whether or not you need a payee, unless SSA or a Court has found you incompetent or you have a drug or alcohol problem.