SSA selects representative payees when it would serve the beneficiaries’ interests. Beneficiaries whom SSA has determined are incapable of managing their own benefits may not serve as a representative payee for other beneficiaries.
SSA’s Representative Payee System (RPS) contains information about pending, selected, non-selected, and terminated representative payees. SSA employees must verify a representative payee applicant’s Social Security number (SSN), record it on the Master Beneficiary (MBR) and Supplemental Security Records (SSR), and use it to establish an individual in RPS.
For our review, we identified from the MBR and SSR (1) 680 beneficiaries who had representative payees managing their benefits while serving as representative payees for others and (2) 1,230 beneficiaries whose representative payees’ SSNs were the same as the beneficiaries. From each of these populations, we selected a random sample of 50 beneficiaries for review.
We issued this report to determine whether SSA had adequate controls to prevent the selection of representative payees who were incapable of managing their own benefits.