Concurrently Entitled Beneficiaries Receiving Representative Payee and Direct Payments

Date: 
Thursday, May 5, 2016
Management Issue: 
Report Number: 
A-09-16-50093
Report Type: 
Audit Report
Office Affiliation: 

Some individuals cannot manage or direct the management of their finances because of their youth or mental or physical impairments. Congress granted SSA the authority to appoint representative payees to receive and manage these beneficiaries’ payments. A representative payee may be an individual or an organization. SSA policy states that it must select one representative payee for all benefits to which the beneficiary is entitled.

In prior audits, we found that SSA needed to improve its controls to prevent the direct payment of concurrent benefits to individuals who had a representative payee. For our current review, we identified 16,533 records where, according to the Master Beneficiary (MBR) and Supplemental Security Records (SSR), concurrently entitled beneficiaries were receiving benefits both directly and through a representative payee as of July 2014.

We issued this report to determine whether SSA had adequate controls to ensure it did not make direct payments to concurrently entitled beneficiaries who had a representative payee.