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What is a "representative payee?"

UPDATED: February 20, 2013

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Some people simply are not able to manage their own financial affairs. For these people, a relative, friend or other interested party can be appointed to handle social security matters - this person is called a "representative payee." The benefits for the incompetent person is made payable to the representative payee on behalf of the incompetent (establishing a payment in trust and fiduciary responsibility for the representative payee).

The representative payee must use the benefits for the personal care and well-being of the beneficiary. Excess funds must be saved on the beneficiary's behalf. Also, periodic accounting reports that shows where the benefits went - how it was spent or were it has been saved - must be filed with the Social Security Administration.

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