Our intake specialist will receive a referral from an outside entity or individual requesting our services as representative payee. Once the referral is reviewed and it is confirmed that we will accept that individual as our client, we will complete the SSA-11, only if one has not already been completed by that person or outside agency. It can take roughly 1-3 months for the Social Security Administration to review the application, make the decision, and re-direct the income to our organization. We do not have any control on how quickly this will occur. Once we have received the income, we will contact the client to set up an initial meeting to establish a budget and talk about any financial concerns. It is preferable that the Representative Payee and the client work together to establish that budget. We have several ways that funds can be distributed: we have a pay card, that works and looks just like a debit card, or we mail checks directly to the client. Our pay card will also allow the client to withdrawal cash from ATMs.
During our tenure as Representative Payee we will work with our client’s to ensure that all of their basic needs are met. We will work with community partners, such as care facilities and the Department of Human Services, to ensure that the client’s medical care and coverage does not lapse due to the need of the financial information. We will work with our client’s to ensure that we are notifying the Social Security Administration of any changes in address or living situation that may impact their benefits. It is important that our client’s keep us informed of major life changes: birth of a child, a change in address, change in household occupancy, death of a spouse, incarceration etc.
There are several reasons a client would be discharged from our Representative Payee program:
- Death: If the client deceases, our organization would notify the Social Security Administration and we would also return any funds to the Social Security Administration that were distributed after the time of the death or any funds remaining in the account.
- No longer needs a Representative Payee: The Social Security Administration are the only entity that can make the assessment that a Representative Payee is no longer necessary. At the time that decision is made, our organization will be notified by the Social Security Administration and the following month the benefits will be distributed directly to the individual.
- Incarceration: If a client is incarcerated for 31 days or longer the Social Security Administration will discontinue the distribution of the benefits. At the time that the individual is no longer incarcerated, that individual needs to re-apply for their benefits.
- Appointment of a different Representative Payee: At the time that the client receives a new Representative Payee (whether a individual or another agency) our services will automatically discontinue and any funds remaining will be returned to the Social Security Administration.