In some cases, Social Security may assign a representative payee to help claimants manage their benefits when Social Security determines that the individual would be unable to do so by themselves. Social Security usually selects a person that knows the claimant and the needs of the claimant as the representative payee. Social Security will also consider the request of the claimant when assigning a representative payee.
The following individuals must have representative payees: most children under the age of 18, legally incompetent adults, and anyone Social Security determines would be incapable of managing or directing the management of his or her funds. A representative payee can be any of the following: 1) someone who is concerned with a claimant's welfare, usually a parent, spouse, relative, guardian, or friend, 2) an institution such as a nursing home or health care provider, 3) a public or nonprofit agency, social service agency, or financial organization, 4) providers or administrative officers at homeless shelters, or 5) a community based