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Report Concerns About Representative Payees

The Social Security Administration (SSA) reported that there are 6 million rep payees serving 8.3 million beneficiaries nationwide, responsible for $70 billion in SSA benefits, in 2018.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) pays benefits to certain eligible people, called beneficiaries. If a beneficiary cannot manage or direct the management of their SSA benefits, SSA appoints a representative payee (rep payee) to receive and manage the SSA benefits. A rep payee can be a person or an organization.

Disability Rights Rhode Island (DRRI) has a federal grant to monitor activities of Social Security Representative Payees appointed by the Social Security Administration to manage the funds of Social Security Beneficiaries.  As part of its Representative Payee Program, DRRI is responsible for conducting monitoring reviews of individual and organizational Representative Payees. DRRI staff interviews select representative payees and reviews the finances to ensure the representative payees are following Social Security requirements.

Each review will also include interviewing the beneficiaries to confirm that the Representative Payee is meeting their needs. The findings of each review will be reported to the Social Security Administration.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) designed the Representative Payee program as a method of randomly checking on Representative Payees to ensure they are meeting the needs of the Beneficiary.  DRRI staff, however, can make recommendations to SSA for monitoring reviews if they learn of a situation where a Representative Payee may not be needing Beneficiary needs.

If you know of a situation where a Representative Payee (individual or organization) may not be meeting a Beneficiary’s needs, you can contact DRRI to discuss it with one of our monitoring staff.  They can be reached by calling 401-831-3150 (local) or 800-733-5332 (toll-free in RI). The Social Security Administration has to approve all reviews and therefore, DRRI cannot guarantee that it will review every situation.