How does Social Security select a representative payee for my Social Security Disability benefit?
Learn how Social Security selects a representative payee for your Social Security Disability benefit and how you can give input to the selection.
Criteria for Selecting a Representative Payee
Social Security’s primary concerns in selecting a representative payee to receive and manage your Social Security Disability benefits are that the person knows you well, wants to help you, sees you often, knows your needs, and will act with integrity on your behalf. Frequently, the person who best meets these requirements is someone who lives with you, such as a relative or friend, or even a caregiver. Other times, the person who is best qualified to serve as your payee is your legal guardian or lawyer.
An organization such as a nursing home where you are residing or an agency from which you are receiving assistance may serve as payee when an private individual is not available or is not the best choice for you.
Voicing Your Preference for a Representative Payee
If you have someone you would like to serve as your payee, you can tell the Social Security Administration and they will consider your request. While you have input to Social Security’s choice of payee, Social Security does not have to appoint that person if they believe it would not be in your best interest and you cannot appeal who is made payee. However, if at any time you believe that your payee is handling your money incorrectly or dishonestly, you should notify the Social Security Administration immediately so that they can investigate whether your payee should be changed.
Please visit our article What Is a Social Security Disability Representative Payee? for information about payee responsibilities and our article Do I Have to Have a Representative Payee for My Disability Payments? for an explanation of how Social Security decides when a representative payee is required to pay your Social Security Disability benefit.