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Appointment of a Representative Payee

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at ssa.gov.

1600

1600. Appointment of a Representative Payee

1600.1 What is a representative payee?

A representative payee is a person or organization SSA selects to receive and manage benefits on behalf of an incapable or legally incompetent beneficiary.

1600.2 What is SSA's policy on appointment of representative payees?

Our policy is that legally competent adult beneficiaries have the right to manage their own funds. However, where there is evidence that a beneficiary is not able to manage or direct the management of payments in his or her own best interest, representative payment may be made.

1600.3 What does this chapter cover?

This chapter provides guidance on:

  1. What constitutes incapability to manage or direct the management of funds;

  2. What determines the need for and selection of a representative payee; and

  3. What is a representative payee's proper use of payments.

Last Revised: Aug. 2, 2007

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