Rep Payee Program

Representative Payee Review Program

Representative Payee Review Program

In 2018, Congress passed H.R. 4547, The Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act, to increase independent oversight of the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Representative Payee Program. This federal law authorizes the nation’s Protection & Advocacy (P&A) system to monitor and investigate how representative payees are managing Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) on behalf of beneficiaries. As the State of Georgia’s P&A agency, Georgia Advocacy Office conducts performance reviews at the taxpayers’ expense of individual and organizational rep payees  in accordance with SSA guidelines. GAO also conducts educational reviews and reviews for allegations of payee misconduct to ensure that SSA funds are being used appropriately and in the best interest of the beneficiary.

Rep Payee Review Program FAQS

What is a Representative Payee?

A Representative Payee is a person or an organization appointed by the Social Security Administration to receive the Social Security benefits–including Retirement, Survivors, or Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits–and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) benefits for individuals who need assistance managing or directing the management of their own benefits. Payees must use the funds that they oversee for the wellbeing and sustainment of the beneficiary(ies) they serve.

What are a Rep Payee’s duties?

Rep Payees are responsible for:

  • Managing funds so that beneficiaries meet all of their basic needs (housing, food, clothing, medical care, personal comfort, & financial obligations);
  • Ensuring that beneficiaries have no current or future unmet needs;
  • Accounting for all funds received and spent;
  • Conserving any unspent funds for future use in an appropriate manner;
  • Complying with rep payee accounting and reporting responsibilities; and
  • Informing SSA of any beneficiary changes.

GAO’s review will determine if the payee has performed their duties as outlined.

What does a Rep Payee Review consist of?

The review includes:

  • An interview with the individual or organization rep payee;
  • A review of the rep payee’s financial records for the requested beneficiary or sample of beneficiaries served;
  • A home visit and interview for each beneficiary included in the review*; and
  • An interview with legal guardians and third parties, when applicable.

*During the COVID-19 pandemic, certain interviews are conducted via Microsoft Teams video conferencing.

What is the purpose of Rep Payee Reviews?

While Representative Payees are meant to provide benefit management support for beneficiaries in need of assistance, past investigations at the taxpayers’ expense have revealed instances of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. GAO’s Rep Payee Reviews serve to:

  • determine if the Rep Payee is adhering to SSA requirements regarding their duties;
  • provide educational training to payees and beneficiaries;
  • assist Rep Payees in correcting issues found inconsistent with SSA record keeping requirements
  • prevent and report misuse of funds; and
  • connect beneficiaries to outside services agencies to address any advocacy needs.

If the results of the review find that the Representative Payee has not fulfilled his/her/their duties, corrective action(s) may be required in order for the Rep Payee to continue to serve.

Possible Referral Issues to Rep Payee Program:

  • Taking beneficiary’s money without permission
  • Expensive/unusual purchases made
  • Charging too much for services or not doing things the beneficiary paid the individual, agency, or company to do
  • New or unusual “gifts” being bought
  • Exerting pressure on the beneficiary to change his or her will, life insurance, retirement annuity

If I have concerns about a Representative Payee, how can I submit a complaint to GAO?

  • Contact GAO and ask for a Resource Advocate at 404-885-1234
  • Email Rep Payee Program at
  • Information preferred for a referral:
  1. Rep Payee name/title
  2. Rep Payee address
  3. Type of Rep Payee/Relationship to beneficiary
  4. Beneficiaries’ name
  5. Beneficiaries’ address
  6. Beneficiaries’ social security number
  7. Description of issue/concern