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Home » Glossary » Representative Payee

Definition of Representative Payee

Claimants who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and are minors or who are determined not able to manage their own funds will have a representative payee assigned to manage their money for them. A representative payee is appointed by the SSA, although the claimant may make suggestions, and has the legal authority to use the claimant's SSI or SSDI benefits to pay for the "current and foreseeable needs of the beneficiary."

A representative payee must use the funds for the benefit of the claimant. It is against the law for them to take the funds and squander them or to use them for their own benefit. Common functions of the payee include managing the savings accounts to pay for current and future needs of the disability claimant, keeping accurate financial information about how the money is spent, contacting the SSA if the status of the disability applicant changes, understanding the claimant's financial needs, returning funds to the SSA if the applicant is no longer legally allowed to receive the funds and making sure the clamant gets adequate medical care. Payees do not have the legal authority to charge the claimant for their services or sign other legal documents which are not sent by the SSA.

Representative payees, who are no longer able to perform their duties, should notify the SSA so a replacement can be named. Claimants who believe they need a representative payee can contact the Social Security Administration and submit Form SSA-11. If you have a representative payee and believe you no longer need one, you can also talk to the SSA about terminating the payee relationship so you can manage your own disability funds.

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