Representative Payee Accounts: Know the Rules

Verify that the beneficiary is in the credit union’s field of membership.

October 19, 2010
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The Social Security Administration issues 10% of its benefits payments to representative payees.

When a member asks you to open an account for another person who receives Social Security benefits, be clear on the rules.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) issues approximately 10% of its benefits payments (about five million per month) to representative payees.

A representative payee is an individual or organization appointed by SSA to receive Social Security benefits for someone who can’t manage or direct someone else to manage his or her money (a “beneficiary”).

The main responsibilities of a payee are to use the benefits to pay for the current and foreseeable needs of the beneficiary and to properly save any benefits not needed to meet current needs.

FrontLine NewsletterA payee must also keep records of expenses to show the SSA how benefits were used or saved. These expenses might include costs incurred in obtaining food, housing, clothing, medical care, and personal comfort items for the beneficiary.

Next: Establishing the account

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