Protection and Advocacy Agencies’ Reviews of Organizational Representative Payees

Date: 
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Management Issue: 
Report Number: 
A-13-12-12119
Report Type: 
Audit Report
Office Affiliation: 

Some individuals cannot manage or direct the management of their finances because of their youth or mental and/or physical impairment. Congress granted SSA the authority to appoint representative payees to receive and manage these beneficiaries’ payments.

In September 2009, SSA contracted with NDRN for its P&A agencies to review organizational representative payees. Most States have a P&A agency that assists those with developmental disabilities in receiving appropriate programs and services, such as Social Security benefits.

In Fiscal Year 2011, P&A agencies reviewed 174 employer payees under SSA’s contract with NDRN. By April 30, 2012, P&A agencies had reviewed an additional 253 payees identified using a "misuse model" developed by SSA. Of the 427 P&A reviews completed, we sampled and reviewed 20 organizational payees.

Our objective was to assess whether organizational representative payee reviews completed by State Protection and Advocacy (P&A) agencies complied with the terms of the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) contract with the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN). We also assessed whether organizational payees were meeting Social Security beneficiaries’ needs.