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 representative payee from someone that knows the claimant and the needs of the claimant. Social Security will also consider the request of the claimant when assigning a representative payee.
The following individuals must have representative payees: 1) most children under the age of 18, 2) legally incompetent adults, or 3) 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) 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 non-profit agency that has been approved by Social Security to charge a fee for its service as payee.
Representative payees are tasked with using a claimant’s monthly benefits in the claimant’s best interest. Benefits must first be used for basic needs such as food, clothing, housing, medical care, and personal comfort items. Representative payees must then save any money that is left. Representative payees are required to complete an accounting report detailing how the benefits were spent and any money that was saved. Representative payees are also required to report any changes in the claimant’s circumstances such as address, income, living arrangements, or work activity.
For more information on representative payees, contact an experienced Social Security disability attorney at Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. today at 251-343-1111 for a free case evaluation. Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. represents Social Security disability claimants in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana at all levels of the disability process from initial application to appeals to Federal Court.