Deceased Representative Payees

Date: 
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Management Challenge: 
Report Number: 
A-01-14-34112
Report Type: 
Audit Report
Office Affiliation: 

Some individuals are not able to manage or direct the management of their finances because of their age or mental and/or physical impairments. For such individuals, Congress provided for payment to be made through representative payees who receive and manage their benefit payments. When a representative payee dies, applicable regulations indicate SSA will select a new payee.

In two prior audits, we determined SSA’s procedures did not ensure new representative payees were selected when the former payees died. SSA agreed with the recommendations in these reports.

To conduct our current review, we identified 3,847 Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) beneficiaries and 1,355 Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients who had representative payees with dates of death on the Death Master File. We reviewed 200 sample cases: 100 sample cases from each population.