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.

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About the Author

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner


  1. Donna O.

    We are elderly parents of our son who is not mentally capable of paying his bills. Who do we contact about a payee to oversee his disability payments? There are no other friends or relative to do this.

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Donna, thanks for using our blog to ask your question. To inquire about becoming your son’s representative payee, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  2. German W.

    I been waiting my social security number since many years ago, for me it was just a dream. always wishing having a legal status to work.. Because since I came to this country, I been working hard trying to give all the best of me, learning good and new things every day. Always trying to do the things right. 17 years working for this country paying my taxes, because I knew it one day I will get the privilege of the social security. Thank you

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    I used Myler Disibility and they said they were going to send me a cash card for my pay and never did what should i do and they filled out the. Papers for me at their own answer for my questions so i dont know and they never sent me no more papers

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