On April 13, the President signed into law the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018. This Act requires the Social Security Administration (SSA) to make grants to each state’s Protection and Advocacy System. As the Protection and Advocacy System for New Hampshire, DRC-NH will use this grant to conduct reviews of representative payees under the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. In these reviews, DRC-NH will ensure that the funds given to each beneficiary are being used appropriately and in the best interest of the beneficiary.
Generally, what are the responsibilities of a representative payee?
SSA requires a representative payee to perform the following duties:
- Manage funds so the beneficiary has no unmet needs;
- Account for all funds received and spent;
- Conserve any unspent funds appropriately; and
- Comply with all accounting and reporting responsibilities
The SSA requires representative payees to keep records and, when asked, report how funds are spent on behalf of a beneficiary.
How are representative payees chosen for a review?
A majority of the representative payee reviews will be directly assigned to the DRC-NH by SSA. The DRC-NH will also select other representative payees to review at its discretion.
What does a review include?
During a representative payee review, the DRC-NH will do the following:
- Interview the individual or organizational representative payee;
- Review the representative payee’s financial records for the requested beneficiary or beneficiaries;
- Conduct a home visit and interview with all included beneficiaries; and
- Interview any legal guardians or third parties, when applicable.
What types of financial documents will DRC review?
DRC-NH will review a wide range of financial documents, including a beneficiary budget and ledger, individual bank statements, receipts of income, expense documentation, etc. For a more complete list of financial documents, please visit the SSA Representative Payee program webpage.
What are the results of the review?
If DRC-NH has concerns that the representative payee is not fulfilling its duties, corrective action may be required. If corrective action is needed, either DRC-NH or the SSA will contact the representative payee to explain the findings and begin the corrective action. If the review finds no corrective action is needed, the representative payee will receive notice that the review is complete.
What if I have concerns about my representative payee?
If you have concerns about your representative payee, you can contact DRC-NH at (603) 228-0432 to learn more about your legal rights as a beneficiary. You can also visit the SSA webpage “When a Payee Manages Your Money”.