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FORUM ARCHIVE: Moving Forward – Implementing Changes in the Representative Payee Program

July 30, 2018

Rep Payee Word Cloud

SSAB is hosting a second policy forum:


WHEN: September 7, 2018; 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
WHERE: The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, HVC-201AB Presented by the Social Security Advisory Board


(Map)    (Metro Parking Directions)


On Friday, September 7, 2018, the Social Security Advisory Board (SSAB) will host a day-long forum on the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) representative payee program. This forum continues SSAB’s longstanding effort to support and improve a vital government program serving approximately eight million people who need assistance in managing benefits provided by the SSA.

This forum brings policymakers, practitioners and researchers together to explore how SSA can study and improve the representative payee selection process with an evidence-based approach.  Recent legislation, “The Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018″ (H.R. 4547) makes this event especially timely.

See below for Agenda and Speaker bios:

8:45 am            Registration

9:15 am            Welcome Remarks

  • Kim Hildred, Chair, Social Security Advisory Board

9:30 am            Panel I: Historical and Legislative Overview of the Representative Payee Program

  • Kathryn Olson, Minority Staff Director, Subcommittee on Social Security, House Committee on Ways & Means
  • Amy Shuart, Majority Staff Director, Subcommittee on Social Security, House Committee on Ways & Means
  • Lanhee J. Chen, PhD, Member, Social Security Advisory Board (moderator)


10:15 am          Administration Remarks

  • Mark J. Warshawsky, PhD, Deputy Commissioner, Office of Retirement and Disability Policy, Social Security Administration 

10:30 am          Break

10:45 am          Panel II: Exploring Different Experiences: Representative Payee Order of Preference in the Selection and   Replacement Process

  • Miatta Edi-Osagie, Administrator, River Terrace Rehabilitation & Healthcare Service, Marquis Health Services
  • Jennifer Flynn, Senior Director, CrissCross Representative Payee Services, Money Management International
  • Jerry Hynes, Vice President of Payee Services, Skils’kin
  • Kate Lang, Senior Staff Attorney, Justice in Aging
  • Christy Respress, MSW, Executive Director, Pathways to Housing DC
  • Kim Hildred, Chair, Social Security Advisory Board (moderator)


12:15 pm          Lunch Break

1:30 pm            Panel III: Evidence-Based Approaches to  Representative Payee Policy

  • Nick Hart, PhD, Director, Evidence-Based Policymaking Initiative, Bipartisan Policy Center
  • James J. Klein, San Francisco Audit Division Director, Office of the Inspector General, Social Security  Administration
  • Peri Jude Radecic, Chief Executive Officer, Disability Rights Pennsylvania
  • Pamela B. Teaster, PhD, Professor and Director, Center for Gerontology, Virginia Tech
  • Henry Aaron, PhD, Member, Social Security Advisory Board (moderator)

3:00 pm            Closing Remarks

  • Bernadette Franks-Ongoy, Member, Social Security Advisory Board

View SSAB Reports on the Representative Payee Program below.

View SSAB Charts on the Representative Payee Program here.

Join the discussion on Twitter using #RepPayee. Follow us @ssabgov.



The Improving Social Security’s Representative Payee Program paper summarizes the board’s recommendations for both immediate changes by SSA and a plan for broader government-wide action. The board found broad interest in improving SSA’s rep payee program and reached bipartisan agreement on how to do so.


The Social Security Advisory Board calls for Congress, the Social Security Administration (SSA), and interested stakeholders to reexamine the Representative Payee (“payee”) Program. SSA’s procedures for appointing, selecting, training, and monitoring payees should be reviewed, and a plan should be developed for identifying beneficiaries with declining financial capability.


For more than 70 years, the Social Security Administration has been issuing checks to representative payees who manage the money for beneficiaries who are not able to manage their own benefits. More than five million Old-age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance beneficiaries and nearly three million Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries have payees. SSA has taken steps to deal with the risk that payees will use the benefits for their own purposes. In this Issue Brief we examine ways in which SSA can improve its management of the Representative Payee Program.


This paper looks at SSA’s statutory authority, the selection process for rep payees and the different responsibilities of rep payees in SSI and in SSA’s other programs. It also provides an overview of the make-up of the current SSI rep payee program for adult beneficiaries. Although there are troubling issues in the SSI children’s program, touched on in the 2014 SSI statement, this paper focuses on adult beneficiaries. Finally, this report explores a growing movement to replace programs that “care for” individuals with those which tailor support on a case-by-case basis and help beneficiaries retain as much autonomy as possible.


A major section of the Board’s 2014 SSI Statement addresses the role of representative payees for child SSI recipients in foster care and the process in which those rep payees are appointed.


One section of the Board’s 2002 SSI Statement focuses on accountability of representative payees.