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. carla

    thanks for your post

  2. alex

    thanks for posting an interesting article and giving your valueable time

  3. emilia

    found this article pretty interesting, as we all aware of that money is the most important thing in everyone’s life these days and everyone doing hard to live a successful life. and yesss you doing a really great job. i apprrciate that <3

  4. Monica M.

    Thanks for this post . I have a elderly person living with me. Due to my job routine which requires vigorous travel schedule, I was mostly absent for his care.
    He has extreme difficulty writing checks, going to the bank and keeping
    track of his bills. He also has piles of outstanding medical bills and health insurance forms. Finally, I appointed a Representative Payee to manage everything.
    I was initially skeptic on empowering another person with control over disbursement of financial resources as it creates risks for improper use or mismanagement of those funds. But after a while I understood its importance.
    For elderly it helped in providing better money management, improved treatment compliance, and greater self-efficacy.

  5. Fazi

    Money is most crucial thing in anyone life. currency value make it very important for traveling worldwide

  6. Michelle J.

    I am in care of a young woman that needed help. After finally getting her parents number I called and they were not aware of her being on the streets for aprox two months. I gained enough information to know this young woman is in fact mentally disabled and has been in boarding homes for some time. She has a rep payee and I want to know how that payee has been allocating her benefits and why wasn’t this young woman able to contact this payee?

    • Vonda

      Hi Michelle, thank you for using our blog. The individual’s representative payee is required to keep records of all payments received and how they are spent or saved. Usually, Social Security will send a “Representative Payee Accounting Report” once a year.

      If you think the payee is misusing the young woman’s benefits, tell Social Security right away. We will investigate all allegations of misuse, gather facts and evidence, and make a decision on whether misuse has occurred. You will receive a letter from Social Security telling you what we found. If we find misuse, Social Security may name a new representative payee for her or per her directly. We will then take action to recover the misused money.

      Check out our Representative Payee web page for additional details. To report misuse, call your local Social Security office. 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.

  7. Bob D.

    Interesting post. I Have Been wondering about this issue, so thanks for posting. Pretty cool post.It ‘s really very nice and Useful post. Thanks

  8. Custom P.

    Interesting stuff to read. Keep it up.

  9. Mark c.

    Good to hear and thanks for share with us.


  10. Shane R.

    such a great and informative post! i am so glad to find this. Many thanks for spreading this info.


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