Program OverviewIn March 2018, legislation was passed by the U.S. Senate to increase oversight and protection for some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens. The bill, called the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act (H.R. 4547), increased independent oversight of the Social Security Administration’s Representative Payee Program. As a result of this legislation, the Disability Law Center now conducts representative payee site reviews on behalf of the Social Security Administration.
What is a representative payee?A representative payee, commonly known as “Rep Payee” or “Payee”, is a person or organization who acts as the receiver of Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income for a person who is not fully capable of managing their own benefits. Unfortunately, past investigations – some of which were conducted by the Disability Law Center – have uncovered representative payees who have stolen or misused funds, exploited, neglected and even abused the people with disabilities they were supposed to be helping.
Here’s what to expect when a DLC reviewer contacts you to conduct a representative payee review:
- Interview with the individual or organizational representative payee;
- Review the representative payee’s financial records for the requested beneficiary or beneficiaries;
- Conduct a home visit and interview with each beneficiary in the sample; and
- Interview any third parties, when applicable.
- Monthly budgets
- Bank statements
- Collective bank account statements
- Bank reconciliation records
- Canceled checks
- Rental agreements
- Other financial records you keep to track how you spend the beneficiary’s SSA benefits
If the Disability Law Center’s review finds that the Representative Payee is not carrying out its duties, corrective action(s) may be needed for the Payee to continue to manage the Beneficiary’s money. Once all corrective actions are implemented, or if the review finds that no corrective action is needed, the Payee will be notified that the review is complete.
All reviews are assigned to us by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The Disability Law Center may nominate a payee to be reviewed, but it is ultimately SSA’s decision on whether or not they approve a review to take place.
If you have concerns about your representative payee, you should notify your local Social Security Office as soon as possible.
You may also contact the Disability Law Center’s Short Term Assistance Team at 1-800-662-9080 to discuss your concerns and/or to nominate a payee to be reviewed. Please note, we are unable to inform you of the status of your report or whether any further action is taken by the DLC.
Representative Payee Program Resources
Other Sources of Help
DLC may not be able to help with every issue. However, we collaborate with and share information from many organizations. If we are unable to assist with your concern, we have a database of external resources and organizations who may have what you are looking for.