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Often, a disability impacts more than just your ability to work. It could also impact your ability to manage your money or to pay your bills on time, for example. In these cases, the Social Security Administration allows Social Security disability representatives to have a representative payee appointed.

What Is a Representative Payee?

A representative payee will receive a Social Security disability recipient’s monthly benefits and use that money for the benefit of the Social Security disability recipient. Specifically, the representative payee will use the money from the disability payments to pay for the Social Security disability recipient’s rent, mortgage, utilities, food, clothing, personal care and home care items, medical expenses, and to cover any other necessary expenses. Extra money can be used on entertainment, education, or home improvements for the person with the disability or can go into a savings account for the benefit of the person with a disability. A payee should never use the disability payments for something other than the benefit of the Social Security recipient.

Who Is the Representative Payee?

A payee is usually a family member, partner, close friend, or loved one. However, payees are sometimes a nursing home, an adult care facility, or another institution.

If you think your loved one needs a representative payee and you are willing to serve in that role, you should:

  • Speak with your loved one about his needs and whether he would like assistance with his finances and care.
  • Call the Social Security Administration or stop by a local office and let them know about the situation.
  • Collect a note from your loved one’s doctor as well as important personal information, such as a Social Security number.
  • Let the Social Security Administration know if any changes take place that would require a change in payments, such as a deteriorating health condition, a new source of income or employment, or the death of your loved one.

Do you have questions about acquiring Social Security disability benefits or selecting a representative payee? Contact our experienced Social Security disability lawyers today to schedule an initial consultation and to get the advice you need to move forward.

Morgan & Weisbrod LLP

by Paul B. Burkhalter
Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.


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