Skip to main content

How does Social Security determine what person is better qualified to be a SSI recipients Representative Payee

Kansas City, MO |

I just applied with SSA ro become my moms payee- shes incompetent and hospitalized.

I wanted to add that my youngest sister was the payee originally- but misuse is suspected.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3


Your mom can change her rep payee via Social Security -

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.

Yes, you can change your payee if you wish. If you decide to change your payee, you should notify SSA as soon as you make the decision. You will need to fill out an application form at your local Social Security office.
The person you choose to replace your present payee must provide SSA with a letter indicating that he/she is willing to serve as your payee and must provide SSA with proof of his/her identity.
Once you’ve sent the application form and the new payee has sent the letter to SSA, the change in payee should take effect in about a month. You and your new payee should each receive a written notice of this before any benefits are paid to the new payee.

You have a right to appeal several of the SSA’s decisions:
• You may appeal SSA's determination that you need a payee;
• You may appeal SSA’s decision to select a given payee for you;
• You may appeal SSA’s denial of the person that you have chosen to be your payee, or
• You may appeal SSA’s denial of your request to change your payee.
• You can also appeal SSA's failure to pay your benefits directly to you while it is investigating its decision that you need a payee or while you are following through on SSA's suggestions for a
possible payee.

If mis-use of funds is supsected -

A payee acts on behalf of the beneficiary. A payee is responsible for everything related to benefits that a capable beneficiary would do for himself or herself. SSA encourages payees to go beyond just managing finances and to be actively involved in the beneficiary’s life. The following lists the required duties of a payee. Required Duties:

Determine the beneficiary’s needs and use his or her payments to meet those needs;
Save any money left after meeting the beneficiary’s current needs in an interest bearing account or savings bonds for the beneficiary's future needs;
Report any changes or events which could affect the beneficiary’s eligibility for benefits or payment amount;
Keep records of all payments received and how they are spent and/or saved;
Provide benefit information to social service agencies or medical facilities that serve the beneficiary;
Help the beneficiary get medical treatment when necessary;
Notify SSA of any changes in your (the payee's) circumstances that would affect your performance or continuing as payee;
Complete written reports accounting for the use of funds; and
Return any payments to which the beneficiary is not entitled

report it to SSA. You can even do it online at:

Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by Brian Scott Wayson as general information, not legal advice, and use of this information does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions about your specific situation, please call an attorney.


You indicated that your mom is incompetent. If she has been declared incompetent by a court and is under a guardianship then the court would be involved in approving the rep payee to be submitted to SS.

Actual legal advice can only be provided by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, with experience in the area of law regarding your question. The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.


I think Mr. Wayson's response is as thorough as you will find. Hope it helps!

Good luck to you.

The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Brian S Wayson

Brian S Wayson


You sir, are too kind! Seattle next month?

Clifford Michael Farrell

Clifford Michael Farrell


No Seattle - I think that is NADR? I have VA next month in DC and then NOSSCR in May in DC (as a Board member....) Good to see you are back on-line!