Social Security’s Representative Payment Program provides financial management for the Social Security and SSI payments of individuals who need help in managing their Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments.
Generally, family or friends serve as representative payees. When friends or family are not able to serve as payees or the beneficiary prefers not to have friends or family serve as their representative payee, there are qualified organizations that can serve as representative payees. Fairfield Township Trustee’s office can serve as a representative payee for a resident of Fairfield Township.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a fee for the Representative Payee program?
Fairfield Township Trustee’s Office does not charge a fee for their Representative Payee program. Normally, organizations charge a monthly fee which is determined by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
What does a Representative Payee do for you?
Your payee receives your Social Security payments for you and must use the money to pay for your current needs, which include housing and utilities, food, medical and dental expenses, personal care items, clothing and rehabilitation expenses (if disabled). After your payee pays those expenses for you, your payee can use the rest of the money to pay any past-due bills you may have, provide entertainment for you, or save the money for your future use.
What are the responsibilities of a Representative Payee?
Your representative payee must use your benefits to pay for your needs. These could include payment for food, shelter, clothes, medical care, and personal comfort items. When necessary, a representative payee may help the beneficiary get medical treatment. Also, your representative payee must tell SSA of events that could change the amount of, or affect your right to receive, benefits. If SSA asks, your representative payee must also give us a written account of how your money was spent. A payee must also tell SSA if there are changes that might affect his/her ability to act as your representative payee.
What else might a Representative Payee do?
Although not required by SSA, Fairfield Township does encourage payees to:
- Meet regularly with the beneficiary
- Establish a budget, discuss it with the beneficiary, and involve him or her as much as possible in financial decisions.
- Explain Social Security and/or SSI payments and the beneficiary’s expenses to the beneficiary.
- Help the beneficiary find other services they need (food stamps, housing subsides, etc.)
- Help the beneficiary fill out applications for other needed services, or cooperate with caseworkers.
- Negotiate with landlords and others to get “the best possible deal” for the beneficiary.
- Provide support and guidance to the beneficiary, including teaching them to use their benefits appropriately.
- Counsel the beneficiary in using spending money in a responsible way.
- Help the beneficiary find resources to file income tax returns and be aware that the beneficiary may owe taxes on Social Security benefits, or may be due a refund.
How to Apply
To begin the process for the Fairfield Township Trustee Office to become your Representative Payee, come to the office during office hours or call to make an appointment to speak with a Case Manager. Bring with you the following information to begin the application process:
1. A signed, current lease or a mortgage coupon for the residence in which you currently reside within Fairfield Township;
2. Indiana picture ID or driver’s license
3. Social Security Card
4. Birth Certificate
5. Social Security Award Letter
Clients will then fill out an application. After talking with potential clients about their needs, staff submit an application to Social Security requesting to be appointed as “payee” for the client. Social Security makes the ultimate decision to appoint a payee based on a thorough review process.