What is a “representative payee?”

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Some people simply are not able to manage their own financial affairs. For these people, a relative, friend or other interested party can be appointed to handle social security matters – this person is called a “representative payee.” The benefits for the incompetent person is made payable to the representative payee on behalf of the incompetent (establishing a payment in trust and fiduciary responsibility for the representative payee).

The representative payee must use the benefits for the personal care and well-being of the beneficiary. Excess funds must be saved on the beneficiary’s behalf. Also, periodic accounting reports that shows where the benefits went – how it was spent or were it has been saved – must be filed with the Social Security Administration.

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