Representative Payees are government agencies, nonprofit organizations or a relative or friend who is appointed by the Social Security Administration to handle the Social Security matters of beneficiaries who are not able to handle their own financial affairs.
The SSA defines the responsibilities of the Representative Payee as:
• Determining the beneficiary's total needs and using the benefits received in the best interests of the beneficiary.
• Maintaining a continuing awareness of the beneficiary's needs and condition, if the beneficiary does not live with the Representative Payee, by contact such as visiting the beneficiary and consultations with custodians.
• Applying the benefit payments only for the beneficiary's use and benefit.
• Notifying SSA of any change in his/her circumstances that would affect performance of the payee's responsibilities.
• Reporting to SSA any event that will affect the amount of benefits the beneficiary receives and to give SSA written reports accounting for the use of the benefits.
The essential needs of the beneficiary include food, clothing, shelter, utilities, medical care and insurance, dental care, personal hygiene, education, and rehabilitation expenses, for example.
If there are funds left over once the beneficiary's current needs are met, the representative payee must save or invest the remaining funds in trust for the beneficiary.
AccuFund has developed a stand-alone Representative Payee module for social service or government agencies that serve as fiscal guardians for clients or patients who are unable to mange their finances.
Also known as custodial checking and trustee accounting, Representative Payee provides these organizations with a robust, flexible tool for tracking funds and paying bills for a large number of clients.
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