Disability, SSI

Making Wise Choices When a Representative Payee Manages Your Money

January 23, 2020 • By

Reading Time: 1 Minute

Last Updated: July 16, 2021

" "Some of the millions of people who get monthly Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits need help managing this money. A person assigned to help you manage your monthly benefits is called a representative payee. We may decide you need a representative payee if we receive information that indicates you need help to manage your money. We try to select someone who knows you and wants to help you. Your representative payee should be someone who you trust, who sees you often, and who clearly understands your needs.

A representative payee receives your monthly benefits on your behalf and must use the money to pay for your current needs. Eligible costs include:

  • Housing and utilities.
  • Food.
  • Medical and dental expenses.
  • Personal care items.
  • Clothing.
  • Rehabilitation expenses (if you’re disabled).

If there is someone you want to be your representative payee, tell a Social Security representative, and they will consider your request. Social service agencies, nursing homes, or other organizations are also qualified to be your representative payee. Ask them to contact us.

If you receive a decision that you are appointed a representative payee and don’t agree that you need one, or if you want a different representative payee, write to us within 60 days to appeal that decision.

If you can’t manage your finances, someone else can help. If you have a trusted friend or family member who can be your representative payee, our publication, A Guide for Representative Payees, will provide more information on our representative payee rules.

Did you find this Information helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

Tags: , , , ,

See Comments

About the Author

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner


  1. tracey c.


  2. tony

    People on SSI should have a representative payee. Being on government welfare mean you can’t financially support yourself. We need to put all of SSI beneficiaries on the Representative Payee program to keep track of how taxpayers money is being spent. Make them all keep track of taxpayers money.

    If they are not using the taxpayers money for their personal needs, then there might be fraud because they have other income paying for their personal needs.

    • A s.

      Are you aware that not all people that are on SSI are mentally handicapped? You do know some people are only physically handicapped (which could have happened at birth, in childhood or as an early adult – where they never had a chance to work to get their 40 credits in). SSI in the year 2020 pays 783 a mth. Why should someone have to handle someone else’s bills/finances when they are mentally capable of using online banking and online bill pay? Do you think people are getting rich off 783 a month? I know I personally can not live off 783 a month – that would not even cover my mortgage. If you are worried about government money – why don’t you look into what the government spends other money on … like a wall …. like helping other countries or throwing parties. I don’t mind my taxes being spent on other Americans that need help. I do mind my money being spent on other countries that need help. I pray that nothing happens to you (or your loved ones) mentally or physically that would require some type of help and then be criticized by people like you. I believe every American citizens should be able to choose for themselves which bill they are going to pay and which bill they need to skip that month (because your so-called government welfare does not pay enough for people to get the basic shelter/food allowance a month). People that unable to work (through no fault of their own) should not be penalized and embarrassed and have to show family or friends they can’t afford to pay every bill each month, because of people like you.

      • marie

        Amen !!!

        • Paula

          I agree, it’s traffic.
          I had enough worked hour’s, as required for reg. S. S. D. I.,
          But had a very bad Lawyer who ruined my claim.
          Never fought the Judges inaccurate comparison’s for my case.
          Never told me I could Appeal it.
          So yes, the system is tough.
          As a disabled person w/ both physical & mental issues I am not able to handle stress/ anxiety & cognitive functioning from a T. B. I. Leaves me in a vulnerable state.
          Where I am often taken advantage of, lyed to or just disregarded.
          Most think I can’t understand what is being done/wrong or unethically.
          However, I do catch thing’s but usually am too overwhelmed by the let down or disbelief; that this incompetence is yet again affecting my lovely hood.
          But as a low income American/w/ disabilities I have no way to fix all the injustices that have ocured time & time, again.
          Sadly, there’s very little help for those of us who can’t afford to fight our own battle’s.
          Believe me I have tried.
          I appreciate your post.
          God Bless us all who struggle daily just to be able to meet our basic needs.

      • Raye B.

        I agree with all you said.I’m on ssi because I had no work credits and due to peripheral neuropathy was b out on ssi.some people r just ignorant.

    • Sky

      I would not recommend a representative payee to anyone, I had representative payees a couple of times, they are not to be trusted, my bills were paid late or not at all a lot of the time, if you can manage your own money I suggest you do, you’ll be a lot better off. I manage my own money now and my bills get paid, and on time.

  3. Hal

    I have a daughter if needed but i am very aler mentally all though I am having physical problems because of playing sports and being on beer truck for 12 yeARS AND WENT TO JOBS THAT i used my mine and was able to stay in 1 spot all day.

  4. Andrey A.

    My name is Andrey . Il live in Worcester and my address is new 65 Camelot Dr Worcester, ma !? Thank you!

  5. Carole B.

    I know someone who is a rep. payee who actually keeps the money intended for her daughter, and her daughter does not get to use the money from her check. Is there a way to correct this? Shouldn’t the rep. payee just manage the funds but not keep them for her own use?

  6. Edwin P.

    I Edwin Pina Ramos have not received my Jan. 3, 2020 benefits check and I am in dire straits. Due to a change of bank account because my PC was compromised and my bank manager suggested I change it !! My rent fell behind due to late charges and overdraft from bank and rental !! It has been four weeks and when calling into SS offices I got four different answers, one, my address was wrong, my bank account was wrong. Protocal should be send a check !! We Seniors depend on this check !!

  7. زهير .

                                    FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA.
                                  PRESIDENTIAL ENTRANCE, SUIT A11
                              ASO ROCK VILLA, ABUJA/LAGOS ANNEX OFFICE
                              DIRECT MOBILE NUMBER: + 234-909-019-0757
                          E-MAIL: rev_paulkal_cvc_centralbanknigg@yahoo.com
    From the Desk of:Rev Paul Kalu
    Contract Verification & payment Committee

    700 Louisiana St Suite 2400,Houston, TX 77002,USA.
    +1 (832) 639-4758, +1 (832) 429-6594
    Email: dbpc74a@gmail.com
    Email: dbpc74c@gmail.com



    We the office of the Presidency are monitoring your fund US$35,500,000.00 payment transfer and we have agreed with the Deutsche Bank to release these funds o

    • sandra

      why is this on the ss web site

      Mustafa on February 17, 2020 at 7:28 pm said:

      Reply ↓

      • M H.

        WTH why is this still here and why allowed Is this SSA blog site not legit????

    • gopa k.

      This is really helpful. I really appreciate your work.Excellent resource, thank you for the time it took to compile.Nice writing! Love to Read It.Thanks!


    Do a payee have to keep records and/or reciepts when making payments for client . How often are these receipts checked by social security.

    • Chris T.

      Yes, a Representative Payee has to maintain records of payments made on behalf of the recipient. It’s also best to maintain a separate checking account for deposits and payments. An accounting has to be provided to the Social Security Administration as requested but at least annually.

      Hope that helps.

  9. Emma R.

    Thank you

  10. antonio C.

    I don’t have anyone and I alerted that m family is fraudulent using my social security number and no one Contacts me!!!!!I’m not on disability and I’m looking and want to work!!! no one hires me!!

Comments are closed.