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Representative Payee FAQs

Our HCUA Compliance team created a document that contains Questions & Answers (Q&As) intended to assist credit union staff with handling Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Representative Payee Accounts. 

The full Q&A document is posted on the Compliance Forms & Resources page, under “Resources.”  You will need to log in to view this resource. Below are a few examples:

What is a Representative Payee (RP)?
A Representative Payee is a person appointed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to receive and manage Social Security or SSI benefit payments on behalf of a recipient who is unable to handle their own finances.  The Representative Payee is typically a relative, friend or other interested party. Those who apply are thoroughly investigated by SSA.

How should this type of account be titled?
Accounts may be held “Jane Doe (the recipient) by Joe Jones, Representative Payee.” 

Should the credit union request some type of documentation before opening the account? 
A copy of the letter from the SSA naming the Representative Payee should be obtained. 

Who owns the funds and who can transact business on the account?
The recipient owns the funds and the Social Security Number (SSN) of the recipient is used for tax reporting purposes.  However, only the Representative Payee can transact business on the account.  The recipient should never have direct access.

Note:  HCUA member credit unions can find the full document with all of the Q&As on the Compliance Forms & Resources page of our website, under “Resources.”

Vocab Compliance: