Congress granted SSA the authority to appoint representative payees for those beneficiaries who are incapable of managing or directing the management of their benefit payments. A representative payee may be an individual or an organization. Representative payees receive and manage payments on behalf of these beneficiaries.
A representative payee may also act as an individual’s guardian, conservator, or both. A guardian has the power and responsibility to make certain decisions about the individual’s care. A court must appoint a payee as guardian or conservator. A guardian or conservator may charge fees for their services.
The representative payee under review is an individual volume payee who served 165 beneficiaries. The representative payee was the court-appointed guardian and/or conservator for 106 beneficiaries she served.
The objective of our report was to determine whether the (1) representative payee had effective safeguards over the receipt and disbursement of Social Security benefit payments and (2) Social Security benefit payments were used and accounted for in accordance with SSA policies and procedures.