Report Summary
Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General

March 2010

Congressional Response Report:  Representative Payees Who Employ Beneficiaries or Provide Employment Services


To review the working and living conditions of Social Security beneficiaries served by representative payees who may have also been acting as employers or job placement/referral services.


Senator Grassley requested assistance in determining whether the Social Security Administration (SSA) performed adequate oversight of its representative payees.  We provided much of the information requested in our June 2009 Congressional Response Report, The Social Security Administration's Oversight of Representative Payees.  In that report, we stated we would perform a separate review to determine whether certain payee‑beneficiary relationships placed beneficiaries at added risk.  This report provides the results of our assessment of the working and living conditions of certain Social Security beneficiaries. 

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Our Findings

For the beneficiaries served by the 48 representative payees included in our review, we found the work conditions were adequate. With the exception of one beneficiary residence, we found beneficiaries’ living conditions were also adequate. Recently, SSA implemented additional monitoring of payees that also serve as employers.

Our Conclusion

With one exception, we concluded the working and living conditions for the Social Security beneficiaries included in our review who were served by the 48 representative payees acting as employers or job placement/referral services were adequate.  We continue to believe such payee‑beneficiary relationships should be subject to special monitoring.  We believe SSA has acknowledged this added risk by recently implementing a process to have the National Disability Rights Network visit specific employer-payees.  Given the vulnerability of these beneficiaries, it is imperative that appropriate safeguards exist to ensure representative payees perform their duties, and that such relationships do not disadvantage beneficiaries or place beneficiaries at added risk.