Representative Payee Program: An Overview
View this page as a PDF here.
On this page:
- What is the rep payee review program?
- Who are the P&As?
- Who benefits from the program?
- What are the impacts?
- Who is responsible for the program?
- What kind of reviews are conducted?
- Review process [diagram]
This program started on August 1, 2018, after HR 4547 Strengthening Oversight and Beneficiary Protections passed through Congress and was signed into effect by the President. With this law, the Protection and Advocacy agencies (P&As) across the country — like Disability Rights Ohio — began regular reviews of the Representative Payees within the Social Security Administration system.
P&As work at the state level to protect individuals with disabilities by empowering them and advocating on their behalf. There are 57 P&As in the United States and its territories, and each is an independent organization with access to monitor & investigate abuse and neglect.
P&As like Disability Rights Ohio are dedicated to advancing the human, legal, and civil rights of people with disabilities. P&As work on systemic issues and provide individual services to ensure individuals with disabilities are able to exercise their right—free from discrimination—to live, learn, and go where they choose.
The program helps both beneficiaries and representative payees. Beneficiaries are people who receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. A representative payee is a person or organization that manages Social Security benefits for the person who may have difficulty managing their benefits on their own. The review program empowers and educates both beneficiaries and payees.
- Empowerment: Beneficiaries and third parties are empowered to report misuse.
- Cost Effectiveness: P&A monitoring is more cost-effective than previous efforts, which reach fewer people and provided less oversight.
- Centralized System: Reviews are centralized through NDRN, the P&As, and SSA, allowing for seamless collaboration.
- Relationship Building: Beneficiaries build relationships with their local P&As, encouraging them to access resources when they need them.
- Needs Reassessment: Beneficiaries can be re-assessed to determine if a payee is necessary, which is especially relevant for youth aging out of foster care.
The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)...
- Trains representative payee review staff
- Provides technical assistance and support
- Provides administrative oversight
- Conduct reviews with individual beneficiaries and payees
- Conduct institutional payee reviews
- Provide educational visits with beneficiaries and payees
- Inform the public about the program
The Social Security Administration (SSA)...
- Oversees all benefits
- Provides additional support as needed
Periodic On-Site Reviews: A continuation of reviews previously conducted by SSA, including fee-for-service payees and organizational payees
State Psychiatric Institution Reviews: These institutions can serve as organizational payees for people living in their facilities.
Predictive Model Reviews: These are selected by SSA and include organizational payees that serve fewer than 50 beneficiaries and individual payees that serve fewer than 5 beneficiaries
Quick Response Checks: SSA may require these checks outside a regular review schedule if there is suspected misuse
P&A-Initiated Reviews: These cases are identified by the P&As and are suspected of potential misuse
Educational Visits: P&As conduct these check-ins with new fee-for-service rep payees and other payees as identified by SSA
1. P&A will call rep payee to schedule review appointment
2. P&A will interview rep payee and conduct a financial record review
3. P&A will conduct interviews with beneficiaries, any legal guardians, or third parties
4. P&A will provide rep payee with a Corrective Action Plan if needed
5. P&A will close case
*This document is funded through a Social Security grant agreement. Although Social Security reviewed this document for accuracy, it does not constitute an official Social
Security communication. We developed this document at U.S. taxpayer expense.