Representative Payees and How to Choose One

What is a Representative Payee?

If you need help managing your benefits, the SSA will appoint a representative payee to you. They “act” as the beneficiary. Meaning, they will receive the benefits awarded to you in order to manage your account. A representative payee can be a family member, friend or an organization. The SSA states that their responsibilities are to use the benefits to pay for your current and future needs and to save any benefits not needed to meet current needs. The payee is the middle man between you and the SSA.

How Should I Choose a


Think about trust. Your payee will be the one who assists you in managing your benefits. Your best option is to look for a family member or friend who is willing to do this for you. Remember, rarely does the SSA approve payees to receive a fee. It is not a job, it’s a service. However, not everyone has someone to fill this role. If this is the case, the SSA will help you find  government or social service organization that can manage your account for you.

According to law you are required to have a representative payee if:

  • you are a minor child or
  • you are a legally incompetent adult

Otherwise, you have the right to be your own payee. If the SSA believes you need assistance, they will gather evidence and appoint you a payee.

How Can I Become a Representative Payee?

The best way to become a representative payee is to contact your local Social Security office. They prefer to have you apply face-to-face.

If you are applying for Social Security benefits, or need help choosing  representative payee, contact us today. We, as Social Security Disability Lawyers, have experience in helping award people the benefits they have earned.