We issued this report to determine whether the Social Security Administration (SSA) had adequate controls to ensure it made capability determinations for disabled beneficiaries who previously had a representative payee.
SSA appoints representative payees to receive and manage the payments of those beneficiaries who cannot manage or direct the management of their own benefits because of their youth or mental and/or physical impairments.
When SSA learns a beneficiary has a mental or physical impairment that may prevent him/her from managing or directing the management of benefits, it must make a capability determination as to whether representative or direct payment is in the beneficiary’s best interest.
If SSA employees subsequently determine a beneficiary does not need a representative payee, they must document their capability determination in the Electronic Representative Payee System (eRPS).
For our review, we identified 99,658 disabled beneficiaries who had a mental impairment, previously had a representative payee, and were receiving benefits directly as of July 2015.