At age 8, Hunter started receiving Social Security Supplemental Income (SSI) benefits from the Social Security Administration (“Social Security”). Of course, he was too young to manage his benefits. Unfortunately, his mother was not capable of managing them either. They needed help. Jillian also needed help. At age 55, she was no longer able to work because of Parkinson’s. However, she also could not manage her financial affairs. Both Hunter and Jillian needed to check into the Social Security Representative Payee Program.
What is a Representative Payee?
A person or organization can ask Social Security to let them manage benefits for a Social Security recipient. To serve as a Social Security representative payee, you first must submit a Form SSA-11 (Request to Be Selected as Payee) to a Social Security office. You will need to prove who you are and provide a social security number or employer identification number.
Please note that the benefit recipient may have a power of attorney or other document naming an agent to handle their financial affairs. Social Security will not recognize these documents when it comes to being a Social Security representative payee. You still must apply to serve as a payee before taking over the recipient’s benefits.
Duties of A Social Security Representative Payee
Taking care of someone else’s money is serious business. Your duties will include some or all of the following:
- Assessing your beneficiary’s needs.
- Spending money to meet your beneficiary’s needs.
- Negotiating benefits on his or her behalf.
- Save any money you have not spent in an interest-bearing account.
- Report any changes to Social Security.
- Keep clear and complete records of income and expenditures.
- Provide records to Social Security upon request.
- Report anything that will affect your performance as a Social Security payee.
- Submit reports as needed.
You must be prepared to return the beneficiary’s money to Social Security if there are overpayments. The same is true if you are no longer acting as a Social Security representative payee for any reason.
The Social Security Representative Payee Programs Fills a Need.
Some people just need a little extra help in managing their Social Security benefits. They can get this help through the Social Security Representative Payee program. But, first, you have to be awarded benefits. You might need help getting through the application process, especially if Social Security denies your claim.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ legal experience, much of it involving Social Security Disability Insurance claims. They can help you with your application and any appeals that might be needed.
Call us at 714-385-8100 for a free consultation. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.