SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home1600. Representative Payees

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 a legally competent adult beneficiary has the right to manage their own funds and we must pay them directly. However, if the evidence shows a beneficiary is unable to manage or direct the management of payments in his or her best interest, we will pay benefits through a representative payee.

1600.3 What does this chapter cover?

This chapter explains:

  1. How we determine a beneficiary is incapable of managing or directing the management of funds;

  2. How we select a representative payee; and

  3. How a representative payee may use the payments they receive.

Last Revised: Nov. 16, 2010