Our office is representative payee for over 180 individuals throughout the state of Michigan. We have developed procedures to properly enforce the rules and regulations put in place by the Social Security Administration. Our records are subject to review by the Social Security Administration.
Under the rules of the Social Security Administration only a non-profit organization is allowed to charge a social security recipient a fee for providing representative payee services. The allowed fee is 10% of the recipient’s benefit; we are not a non-profit agency and accordingly do not charge the social security recipient a fee for this service.
Our services are arranged by contract with the participants Community Mental Health (CMH) organization and paid for by the CMH and not the social security representative. Our services are charged as a flat fee, rather than as a percentage of the recipient’s benefits.
At the bequest of the Veterans Administration, we also provide Legal Custodian Payee services to recipients of Veteran’s Benefits. These services are paid for directly by the recipients of the services. Legal Custodian Payee services operate under guidelines that are similar to representative payee services.
For more information, or if you have any questions, please email our Rep. Payee Coordinator at email@example.com
Internal, External, and Quality Controls
Our office maintains separate checking accounts for each individual for whom we provide representative payee services. Funds received on their behalf from the Social Security Administration (SSA) are directly deposited into their accounts by the administration. Weekly spending reports are sent to the case managers for review. Each bank account is reconciled monthly and a monthly report along with the supporting documentation for the expenditure are emailed to the case manager and stored within our virtual library. Periodically, our policies, procedures, reports, and expenditures are reviewed by the SSA for compliance with the requirements applicable to a representative payee.
A Representative Payee is an individual or organization that receives Social Security (SS) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments for someone who cannot manage or direct the management of their money. Payees should use the funds for the current and foreseeable needs of the beneficiary and save any remaining funds for the beneficiary’s future use.
Your payee receives your monthly benefits on your behalf and must use the money to pay for your current needs, including:
- Housing and utilities
- Medical and dental expenses
- Personal care items
- Rehabilitation expenses
After those expenses are paid, your payee can use the rest of the money to pay any past due bills you may have, give you spending money, support your dependents, or provide entertainment for you. Any other funds left over should be saved.
Duties of a Rep. Payee
A payee acts on behalf of the beneficiary, they are responsible for everything related to the benefits. Some required duties include:
- Determine the beneficiary’s needs and use their payments to meet those needs
- Save any money left after meeting the beneficiary’s current needs in an interest bearing account or savings bonds for the beneficiary’s future needs
- Report any changes or events which could affect the beneficiary’s eligibility for benefits or payment amount
- Keep records of all payments received and how they are spent and/or saved
- Provide benefit information to social service agencies or medical facilities that serve the beneficiary
- Help the beneficiary get medical treatment when necessary
- Complete written reports accounting for the use of funds
- Return any payments to which the beneficiary is not entitled to Social Security Administration(SSA)
Limitations of a Rep. Payee
A payee must use benefits in the best interests of the beneficiary, according to his or her best judgment. A payee cannot:
- Sign legal documents, other than Social Security documents, on behalf of the beneficiary
- Have legal authority over earned income, pensions, or any income from sources other than Social Security or SSI
- Use a beneficiary’s money for the payee’s personal expenses, or spend funds in a way that would leave the beneficiary without necessary items or services
- Put a beneficiary’s SS or SSI funds in the payee’s or another person’s account
- Use a child beneficiary’s “dedicated account” funds for basic living expenses (only applies to disabled/blind SSI beneficiaries under age 18)
- Keep conserved funds once they are no longer the payee
- Charge the beneficiary for services, unless authorized by Social Security Administration (SSA)