A representative payee may be an individual or an organization. A representative payee receives and disburses benefit payments on a beneficiary’s behalf. Representative payees are responsible for ensuring benefit payments are used for the beneficiary’s current maintenance, including food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and personal comfort items.
Despite all of a representative payee’s responsibilities, only fee-for-service payees are allowed to collect a fee. SSA procedures prohibit volume individual representative payees from collecting a fee from SSA benefits for their services except in certain circumstances such as when they serve as a court-appointed legal guardian.
This review focused on volume individual representative payees, that is, individuals serving as a payee for 15 or more beneficiaries. Using the Philadelphia regional Intranet site (Philanet), we identified approximately 500 payees throughout SSA’s 10 regions.