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Social Security Advisory Board Wants Your Feedback on Representative Payee Program

The Social Security Advisory Board (SSAB) is working on a study of the Representative Payee Program. The Board is a bipartisan, independent federal government agency established in 1994 to advise the President, the Congress, and the Commissioner of Social Security on matters of policy and administration of the Old-age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance and the Supplemental Security Income programs. Most recently, the Board has studied the Representative Payee Program, recognizing the looming need for many more payees as baby boomers age. The Board has identified a few broad areas of concern, such as the processes for determining need for a payee, appointing a payee, monitoring payee performance, etc.

As the Board prepares a report of what it has found to date, the staff would like to get a bit more background on how the program works for so-called “creditor payees,” mostly comprised of residential facilities (such as adult care facilities) and nursing homes that function as individual residents’ payees of record. The Board is interested in how to improve payees’ interaction with the Social Security Administration (SSA) while preserving the rights and well-being of beneficiaries.

Some questions to consider would be:

  • How does your interaction with SSA work now? Is there another bureaucracy that works better, e.g. the fiduciary program at the Department of Veterans Affairs?
  • What are the biggest issues you have with being a rep payee, such as dealing with family members who seek to replace you, the accounting/monitoring requirements, etc.?
  • If you could redesign the program, what would you do differently? How could the rights and well-being of individual beneficiaries be safeguarded if SSA simplified accounting, monitoring, and other requirements under which you operate?

Please contact Jenn Rigger, Senior Advisor, at Jenn.Rigger@ssab.gov or 703-472-0240 with any feedback. If you prefer, you can send your feedback to us, and we can forward to the SSAB.

Contact: Diane Darbyshire, ddarbyshire@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8828