Helping as a Representative Payee

If you handle the finances for a Social Security beneficiary or know someone who may need help managing benefits, you may consider applying to become a representative payee.

A representative payee is someone who receives Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments on behalf of a person not capable of managing the funds on his or her own. A representative payee meets the individual’s basic needs by using the money to provide food, clothing, and shelter for the person and saving any left-over money in an interest-bearing account or as savings bonds for the beneficiary’s future needs.

As a representative payee, you must:

  • know the person’s needs so you can decide how to meet those needs with the benefits provided.
  • be responsible for letting Social Security know about any changes that may affect the person’s eligibility for benefits or the payment amount.
  • complete a yearly report of how the funds were spent. (You can do this online.)

To help a friend who receives Social Security or SSI benefits and is not able to manage his or her own finances, help them contact us. Social Security will help determine if a payee is needed and who would be best suited to act in that capacity.

For more information, read, A Guide For Representative Payees, at and When People Need Help Managing Their Money, at

Thank you to all caregivers and represntative payees helping people in need.

Questions, online applications, or to make an appointment to visit a Social Security office, contact:
1-800-772-1213 (toll free) | 1-800-325-0778 (TTY)


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