We issued this report to determine whether the Social Security Administration (SSA) had adequate controls to ensure it recorded individual representative payees’ Social Security numbers (SSN) in its payment records.
SSA is required to obtain the SSNs of representative payee applicants. SSA uses the representative payee’s SSN to (1) verify the payee’s identifying information; (2) determine whether the payee applicant is receiving Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income; (3) determine whether the applicant is a convicted felon; and (4) determine whether the applicant previously served as a representative payee and has a history of poor payee performance or misuse.
An individual’s SSN is required to establish a representative payee in the Electronic Representative Payee System (eRPS). SSA’s automated systems process the representative payee’s information and update the Master Beneficiary (MBR) or Supplemental Security Records (SSR).
We identified 224,264 beneficiaries in current pay status who had an individual representative payee who did not have his/her SSN recorded on the MBR/SSR.