Another Way to Help You Secure Today and Tomorrow

Social Security is with you through life’s journey. May is National Older American Awareness Month and we want to talk about one of the stages of our long journey together.

While Social Security wants to put you in control of the benefits you receive from us, there may come a time when you need help managing your benefits. If that time comes, Social Security is there. Our Representative Payee Program helps millions of beneficiaries who cannot manage their Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits. This can be a child or an adult incapable of overseeing their own funds.

When Social Security receives information indicating someone needs help managing their money and meeting their current needs, we assign someone to help. Your representative payee receives your payments on your behalf and must use the money to pay for your needs, which include:

  • housing and utilities;
  • food;
  • medical and dental expenses;
  • personal care items;
  • clothing; and
  • rehabilitation expenses (if you’re disabled).

After those expenses are paid, your payee can use the rest of the money to pay any past-due bills you may have, support your dependents or provide entertainment for you.

A representative payee is usually a trusted family member or friend of the beneficiary, but when friends or family are not able to serve as representative payees, Social Security looks for qualified individuals or organizations to represent the beneficiary. If you live in an institution, such as a nursing home or a hospital, the payee should pay the cost of your care and provide money for your personal needs.

Providing information about a representative payee is another way we help you secure today and tomorrow. You can learn more by watching our series of training videos on the duties of a representative payee. You can also visit our representative payee website for more information.

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36 thoughts on “Another Way to Help You Secure Today and Tomorrow

    • Thank you for your comment, Brian! You’ll be glad to know that our system’s staff is currently working on turning the email sharing feature on. While we would still want to go through the proper testing and development process, we hope we can provide you and all of our followers with this service soon. We value our followers’ thoughts and will use your suggestions to explore how we can further improve the services we offer. Your feedback is greatly appreciated! Please stayed tuned.

  1. I need a death benefit sent to me Betty Jo Owens, wife of Deceased, Mack A. Owens, *** – ** – ****. You have already stopped his benefits. Please send me the $255 immediately.

    • Generally, the lump-sum is paid to the surviving spouse who was living in the same household with the worker when they died. To apply or for more information about this lump-sum payment, contact your local Social Security office or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 ( TTY1-800-325-0778). Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks

  2. When one dies, his SS payment for that month must be returned. If he dies on the last day of the month; then the whole amount is to be returned. This will cause a hardship on the spouse as most of the monthly bills would be already paid. It would be better to withhold the first month’s payment, and not the last month, just saying.

      • My mother died on Jan.14, her December payment that she had already received, was withdrawn from her Jan. statement. Why?

        • I think I am correct by explaining it this way. The check your mom received in Dec (while she was alive) was for the benefit period of Nov. There is always a one month delay in a Beneficiary receiving their check. Consider this, if you were working a job, the employer would not pay you for the week until the end of the week. So Medicare does not pay your Mom for her earned and due December benefits until that Jan check arrives. If your Mom died on Jan 14, she was not alive and was not able to sign her check. That Jan check was for her Dec Benefit Period, it must be returned to SSA so they can reissue the check to her Estate or to her living children. There should be an adjustment to pay her for Jan Benefit Period from Jan 1 thru the date of her death on Jan 14. If this did not help, please call 800-772-1213 SSA Call Center, they can give you the location of the nearest SSA office for a face to face interview. Be sure to ask the Call Center exactly what documents to take with you or the responsible Ex of her Estate to resolve. Hope this helps, sorry for your loss.

          • Hi Marti, you’re right that Social Security benefits are paid the month after they are due. However, we need to clarify that Social Security benefits are not pro-rated for the month of death. To be eligible for a Social Security benefit payment, a person has to live throughout the entire month. If the beneficiary died in January, you must return the benefit paid in February. Thanks for using our blog!

          • Wll in that case,my mother’s disability check was returned to SS when she died February 21, 2013. Mom had direct deposit. If I am correct, I told my sister that her money should be returned as well as March, 2013. If so, then deposit it into my account at BB&T, account ending in 5434.

        • We are sorry for your loss. Social Security benefits are paid the month after they are due. Social Security benefits are not pro-rated for the month of death, and to be eligible for a Social Security benefit payment, a person has to live throughout the entire month. For example, if the person died in January, you must return the benefit paid in February. We hope this information helps.

          • It’s not helpful. The answer to the question just read that recipient is always a month behind!. Example: if that person worked and died, then that person would receive all the money owed up to the date he/she died. You all get it together!!!

  3. The Representative Payee provisions of the law are nice as far as it goes. There is a potential for abuse in that it was used as an excuse to strip citizens of their constitution right to bear arms. Not all people who need a payee are also incapable of knowing how to use a gun to protect themselves. Also this is a decision that should not be left up to a SS employee who is untrained in detecting whether or not someone is a threat to others. Va tried the same thing and the veteran’s rights had to be returned to them with new legislation.

  4. To Ray Fernandez,
    Is there any way the previous comment could be implemented or at least given a choice at the beginning of receiving payments?

  5. I stop working at age 46 because of my depression was very bad at that years i have 25 credits now i can’t get SSDI benefits ssa telling me need 15 more credit.now 63 years old.my. illness get worse.I am been dined 3 times.my ssi check stop since March 01 2017.I am suffering with depression Diabetes high blood pressure bipolar chronic pain sleep desorder.over weight
    ECT.

    • We are sorry to hear of the inconveniences you are experiencing Lesly. Unfortunately, your situation is a bit more complex than we can handle in this forum. For your security, we do not have access to information about your account in this venue. Please continue working with your local office on specific information about your case. Thanks.

  6. All you get asked at the Dade City Fl office is are you hispanic what ? what difference does it make ? For a person in need of help !

  7. Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits : What is the difference between the two? How will a person know what to apply for and under what circumstances ? Thank You

  8. If my spouse is deceased before age 62, will I be able to receive social security benefits from his SS? He has worked over 35 years. Thank you.

    • Thank you for your question. If you become a widow or widower and your spouse worked long enough under Social Security, you can receive reduced benefits as early as age 60 (age 50 if disabled), or full benefits at full retirement age or older. We hope this information helps!

  9. I don’t need help in paying my bills, I need more money!!! I know my money was taken out of my checks and I starting working at the age of 14. I am now 60 and can’t live on what you decided I should get. The gov’t didn’t ask me if I was willing to pay into social security, it was TAKEN!! and you dole out what I should get. I cannot receive any assistance from social services because I am given too much but not enough to live and pay my utility, groceries, medicine. I have to pick and trade what I need, not want, NEED. Utilities always win! I can’t buy the proper foods as a diabetic. I stopped going into the groceries the first of the month and watch all the healthy woman most that have 5 or 6 children and over hear that she has $2500 left for groceries, while I have to put food back. Her basket runeth over. Fresh meat, steaks, fish, turkey, fresh produce and fruits and some junk food. Then she loads the groceries into a 2017 Explorer. My mouth hit the pavement!!! Tell me Social Security, when are you going to help the ones that fall through the cracks??????????????????? I would like an answer. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Lyndon b Johnson starting tapping into the social security benefit fund when he was president. As I recall it was supposed to be a one time thing and end . . . that never happened. There are millions of dollars used every year out of the social security fund for other things – if they stopped doing that than maybe retirees would get more money and maybe it would stop being referred to as an “entitlement”. Welfare is an entitlement, social security is not. And how many people receive social security who never paid in one cent? Lots and lots. How can we retirees find out the truth about where our social security funds are spent?

      • Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system. Social Security taxes collected from today’s workers pay the benefits of today’s retirees. Any funds in excess of what is needed to pay today’s benefits are invested in special issue, U.S. Government, interest-bearing securities. This investment – the purchase of U.S. Government securities – is what constitutes the “borrowing” that people are sometimes concerned about. Any funds that have been “borrowed” from the Social Security Trust Funds have always been paid back in full, plus interest. Please check out our Trust Fund Frequently Asked Questions page for more information. Thanks!

  10. I would like to know about the 8%/year increase in benefits. If I apply and suspend does the 8% increase stop because I applied? If I apply and start accepting payments then suspend for a year, will the 8% apply for the year I suspend. I’m past full retirement age and still working, self employed. Every other year I have good income, but in between is difficult. If I suspend past age 70 for a year, will the unused 8% for suspended years be added for a skipped year?

    • Hi Dan. You will automatically earn Delayed Retirement Credits if you withhold receiving benefits until the age of 70. Delayed retirement credits are added for months of non-payment between full retirement age and age 70 regardless of whether or not you file and suspend at your full retirement age. However, the benefit increase no longer applies when you reach age 70, even if you continue to delay taking benefits. For further assistance, please call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. We hope this information helps.

  11. hi dan … I am u.s. citizen, live in Alexandria , Egypt ssa stopped sending my social security pension since last march 2017 till now for no reason, please let me know .. I am 74 yrs old,sick and my pension so bad thank you !!

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