Asked in Elder Law and Social Security for South Carolina

Q: Do I need to just stop being rep of payee if so how?

I am currently rep of payee of my 64 year old mother's disability. Now she will not let me in her home & will barely speak to me because of diff of opinions. Should I stop being rep for my legal responsibility or how responsible for her am I?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Susan Michele Schaefer
Susan Michele Schaefer
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Prattville, AL

A: As a representative payee of your mother's Social Security disability, you have a lot of responsibility. You are responsible for managing your mother's benefit payments in a way that is in her best interests. You must follow Social Security law and use her disability payments for your mothers current needs starting with housing and food. After meeting her current needs, your mother can have some discretionary spending money, but that amount won't be much. You are also responsible for saving any remaining money in an interest bearing account or in savings bonds for her future needs. You must keep an accounting of all the payments, and how they were spent or saved. There are other responsibilities, such as reporting any changes that could affect your mother's eligibility for payments. For more information, see this guide at

It would be a good idea to have a conversation with your mother about her disability payments, including how much they payments are each month and your accounting of how the money is being spent. If you are still having differences of opinions, you may want to consider having another responsible family member or qualified organization assume the responsibility. If that is the case, you will need to inform Social Security. The other family member or qualified organization must apply to be representative payee and be approved by Social Security.

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