“Representative Payee”

“Representative Payee”| SSI, SSDI

When Aaron, our son with autism and a developmental disability, moved into a house with another man, we became his legal guardian.

It was the only way to protect Aaron legally. It was the right thing to do.

One of the first decisions became who was in charge of finances–the individual, the residential provider, or the guardian.

The Individual

Certainly if your son or daughter is capable, that is the first choice. Remember, the individual can get support on their ISP (Individual Service Plan) to help.

The Residential Provider

If you are the parent of an adult with autism or other disability who is not able to handle their own finances, then this service can be written into the ISP (Individualized Service Plan) and handled by the agency or residential provider.

The residential provider cannot charge for this service, but it is one of the services in the Individual Option Medicaid Waiver.

For 13 years, my husband and I let the residential provider be the SSI and SSDI “representative payee” and handle his finances.

We added checks and balances:

In Aaron’s ISP, the company would send us monthly statements by email and the County Service Coordinator checked the Residential Provider’s records, so it worked great.

After all, as parents we know we won’t live forever, why not put the financial system in place while we can still make sure it works.

Checks and balances plus it was less work for us–YEA!

Guardians become “Representative Payee”

Last month we fired our residential provider. This made things tricky so I decided to become the “representative payee” myself.

Here is what I’ve learned:

How do Guardians become “Representative Payee” for SSI, SSDI?

Go to your local Social Security Office, you cannot do this online. Allow at least an hour.


Guardianship Document,
Your child’s Social Security Card
Your Social Security Card
Your valid Driver’s License with current address
The bank account number and routing number for the automatic deposit.

Sign in:

You will need to have a face to face interview.
Make sure the agent changes the information for both SSI and SSDI if that is appropriate. They are two separate systems.
You will be given a contact person for your future needs.

Additional Information

You can call 1-800-772-1213 and ask for an “agent,” in addition they have recorded information on the responsibilities and frequently asked questions about “representative payee.”


Representative Payee FAQ


Timelines are based on the first of the month
i.e. Automatic social security deposits are on the first and the third of the month.

It will take a month or so to get the deposit information transferred.

Keep Climbing: Onward and Upward

All my best,

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