Aging, General, Online Services

Representative Payees Help You Manage Your Social Security

April 25, 2024 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: May 9, 2024

Some people who receive monthly Social Security benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments may need help managing their money. When we receive information that indicates you need help, we’ll work with you to find the most suitable representative payee to manage your benefits.

A representative payee is someone who receives your monthly benefit payment on your behalf and must use the money to pay for your current needs.

These include:

  • Food.
  • Clothing.
  • Personal care items.
  • Housing and utilities.
  • Medical and dental expenses.
  • Rehabilitation expenses (if you have a disability).

If you need help managing your benefits, tell a Social Security representative that there is someone you want to be your representative payee.

Your representative payee should be someone you trust and see often, and who clearly understands your needs.

Social service agencies, nursing homes, or other organizations are also qualified to be a representative payee. Ask them to contact us.

You can write to us within 60 days of being assigned a representative payee if you don’t agree that you need one or if you want a different representative payee.

We also offer Advance Designation, which allows you to designate someone to be your representative payee in the future. There may come a time when you can no longer make your own financial decisions. You and your family will have peace of mind knowing that someone you trust may be appointed to manage your benefits for you.

You can submit your Advance Designation request when you apply for benefits or after you are already receiving benefits. You may do so through your personal my Social Security account at or by calling and speaking to a Social Security representative.

You can find more information at

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  1. Nancy M.

    As rep payee for daughter receiving Social Security (Retirement), must I report her income MONTHLY as when she received SSI?
    Her small income ($300 a month) is derived completely from a DVRS funded extended work program, NOT competitive employment.

    • Sue

      Hi, Nancy. Thanks for reading our blog and for your questions. If your daughter receives Social Security retirement, is younger than full retirement age, and has earnings less than $22,320 in 2024, her earnings will not affect her benefits. That means you do not need to report her income to us. For more information, visit our Receiving Benefits While Working page. If your daughter receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in addition to her retirement benefit, you need to report her wages to prevent future overpayments. To learn about wage reporting options, visit our Frequently Asked Questions. If you need additional assistance, you can contact your local Social Security office or call 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. We hope this helps.

  2. Florence D.

    I’m a Rep Payee. If I spend less than my Brother’s monthly SS check, can I put the balance into his existing non interest- bearing checking account?

    • John m.

      I think it can be. Banks charge more fees than credit unions.

    • Paul T.

      Read here first:

      You must save any money left over after paying for the beneficiary’s current needs, preferably in an interest-bearing account or U.S. Savings Bonds. The checking or savings account title must show the beneficiary’s ownership of the funds and show you as the sole controlling financial agent. The beneficiary must never have direct access to this account.

      You should try to build some savings for a rainy day. However, you can use some of any leftover funds for the beneficiary’s recreation, such as movies or magazine subscriptions. You must keep accurate records of such money transfers. If it is determined that your brother can handle this, the Social Security Administration may allow you to deposit small amounts of money for this purpose directly into a bank account in your brother’s name. Call your local Social Security office to get permission before you do this. Remember that you will still be accountable as the representative payee and that you must keep accurate records of any money transfers. Also, keep in mind that someone, including possibly your brother, may later challenge how this money was spent. It’s important that you carefully manage and keep records of your brother’s funds and that you do not commingle his funds with your own money.

    • Sue

      Hi, Florence. Thanks for reading our blog and for your question. As your brother’s representative payee, after meeting his day-to-day and personal needs, you should save any leftover money – preferably in U.S. Savings Bonds or an interest-paying bank account. For more information, check out our Guide for Representative Payees and our Frequently Asked Questions for representative payees. We hope this helps.




  3. Veronica

    Absolutely not! Don’t even consider it. Being a rep payee also means that if at anytime ssa over paid the recipient during their lifetime of benefits, when they die, ssa will come after the the rep payess to collect. Facts. That tibit was left out of the article.

  4. Reviewer

    You suspect a rep. payee is mismanaging beneficiary funds, the payee can be reported to your state’s P&A System and nominated for review at Social Security:

  5. terry F.

    My brother has been eligible for full benefits for over a year. He may have been qualified for disability benefits for much much longer, as is his wife. Both of them are significantly impaired, due to a genetic defect.
    I can’t get him to apply, although he says he has gone in and said “they just let him sit there, no one helped”.
    I would happily negotiate this for both of them, be a representative payee, or if someone would take a personal interest, recognizing their additional needs… that could also work.
    I am in Germany (USAF), he is in Wells Maine. How can they be helped ? Where is the personal touch ?

    • Sue

      Hi, Terry. Thanks for reading our blog and for your questions. You can help your brother and his wife apply online for disability benefits. Our Disability Starter Kit will help them get ready for the online application. To learn more about our benefits and the application process, check out our Information for People Helping Others page. You may want to watch the video, What to do if you need help with your Social Security business. If you have additional questions, you can contact your brother’s local Social Security office or call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. We hope this helps.

    • TIIFYCA.


  6. Rached B.

    There is no better than a good parents to be representatives for their loved ones because they know what they need especially if they’re disabled, but I am sure there are also those who take advantage for their own children unfortunately!

  7. Ken W.

    If a person likes the idea of a rep payee, but lives in another country, say, the Philippines, and collects social Security, can they choose someone who lives there, or is it a requirement for the rep to be a U. S citizen?

  8. Anita B.

    *NOTICE* if THE OVERPAYMENT allegedly happened in 2020 it should be waived and dismissed. Some all the way up to 2023. So check your notices people. 2020-2023, you qualify to have it waived and removed.

  9. William J.

    I don’t need a payee,nor will I accept one.Im tired of being ripped off by Direct Express as well as Kim Walker and Thomas Shemuga

    • Aaron j.

      I do not understand why its required to get a lawyer to file for benefits. Money you and employers have put away for you. Not for SSA or an SSA payee. Its a scam. Its the payee lawyers committing fraud and getting away with millions. SSA and Dept of Treasury that colluded with the most corrupt bank in this country that chose that bank to issue the worst debit card scam in history to rob the most vulnerable people of their benefits. Billions have been robbed from the people by hackers. No more than you file a dispute and have another card issued the very next month your card is hacked again. Every debit card company I talked with is shocked it takes up to 90 days to get a refund, when it shouldnt take more than 7 days. Especially when 1 hacker has been using Google to drain millions from cards. This was reported in 2012 and they are still hacking cards. Comerica Bank–SSA and Treasury still has done nothing to stop it. Because the Federal Govt is a certified CORPORATION and not a govt. The same for Washington DC/Dist of Columbia Municipal & Territorial Jurisdictions are also a Foreign For Profit Corporation, aka US INC. A British entity controls everything in this country. Even selecting a CEO every 4 years to their corporation. No president has been elected by the people in over a century. US Navy and Congress helped create this illegal/unlawful entity because they were sick of the peoples power and wanted more power than the people by enslaving everyone at birth, stealing their identity then all your assets til death. Every single official, politician, employee. public servant of the Fed/State/Local govt are contracted to this corporation, and are loyal to. Not the people, its right in front of your eyes. Corruption has tripled, destroying the Constitution has amped up, the manipulated DISTRACTIONS are endless,using manipulating weather and frequencies,injecting millions with remote technology to kill you,total invasion of the worlds worst beings walking the earth…flooding our homeland raping us of all our resources, property, hard work…Universal Natural Rights on this planet…above any govt, any corporation,bank,court,law, constitution, country, secret society, species, dangerous ideology from unstable wealthy evil elite monsters. Everything is hidden from the masses, except it is finally quickly spreading and opening eyes. You will never receive your money that was stolen, not from Direct Express or any fake agency, its part of controlling us. It has been going on for 12 years or more with DE, but increased in last 5. A corporation can not be a Government, it can not hold the powers of a govt. This illegal/unlawful, treasonous, traitors loyal to a foreign enemy that is unlawfully occupying American soil without the peoples knowledge or consent ever being made public about this unconstitutional and high treasonous act against the people.

  10. Dr. A.

    WARNING! Representatives can also allow those mentally ill to become their own payees in order to assist them in loosing their benefits when they cannot handle the responsibility. How do you think we have money for more and more? Redistribution of funds. Take special notice for mentally ill loved ones. It happened to my son.

    • William B.

      Well I’m not mentally ill.Im just a little pissed off.People need to learn to stay in there lane.And mind there own business,

    • Holly S.

      I seen that happen to a young man in his early 20’s, they allowed him to manage his money… Then all of a sudden his money was gone. I picked up that he was being targeted by some individuals and sneered into a trap to loose his funds. It’s sad and angering at the same time that people take advantage of disabled people and it’s more than likely coming from the SSA affiliate contractors.

    • Tony

      The SSA wouldn’t pay me until I got a representative payee. I got pressured and tricked into signing a form appointing a representative payee.

      A claimant who is 18 years old or over, mentally competent, and physically able to do so, MUST sign his or her own application. See 20 C.F.R. 404.612(a)

      If the claimant is under age 18, or mentally incompetent, or physically unable to sign, the application may be signed by a court appointed representative or a person who is responsible for the care of the claimant, including a relative. If the claimant is in the care of an institution, the manager or principal officer of the institution may sign the application. see 20 C.F.R. 404.612(c)

      The SSA appointed me a representative payee before they came up with the advance designation. The advance designation is a trap just like telling people they won’t be paid unless I get a representative payee.

      I asked the SSA representative to find a representative payee, but they refused. They told me I had to find my own representative payee and sign a form agreeing to appoint a representative payee. I messed up and signed that form and got stuck with a representative payee. Don’t sign anything even if they threatened to withhold your payment.

      Signing up for the advance designation of a representative payee is new version of the old trap of withholding your payment. You sign the advance designation of a representative payee and you sign away your rights.

      A claimant who can’t sign the application has no rights. Those claimants will be appointed a representative payee.

      Remember that you have to have the capacity to advance designate to sign the advance designation. You are signing away your rights.

      The retirement and disability application requires an initial determination. The representative payee is also an initial determination but not an initial determination for retirement or disability application. The initial determination is for the advance designation of a representative payee you signed up for.


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