Tampa, FL asked in Social Security for Florida

Q: Is a SsA representative payee allowed to marry the beneficiary they represent or will it. Cause issues?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Susan Michele Schaefer
Susan Michele Schaefer
  • Social Security Disability Lawyer
  • Prattville, AL

A: There is no restriction about a beneficiary being married to the person who is their representative payee. In fact, Social Security prefers to appoint a responsible relative, friend, or other interested party to serve as a representative payee, then they consider others, such as an organization to be payee. The restrictions to being a representative payee are found in 20 CFR 404.2022 and 416 CFR 622. Here are a couple of examples: a person with certain convictions cannot serve, and a person who themselves require a representative payee cannot serve. See the regulations for the full list of restrictions.

You also ask whether being a representative payee married to the beneficiary would cause issues. Since you will have certain responsibilities in the management of the benefits, you have to follow the rules. In the event you and your spouse disagree on how the benefits will be spent. Social Security recommends the representative payee and the beneficiary talk about how the benefits are spent. You as representative payee can show you how much in benefits is being received and how much is being spent on basic needs. Here is a Social Security pamphlet with an overview of being a representative payee at https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10076.pdf. If you decide you do not want to be representative payee for your spouse, you can request that Social Security appoint another responsible party to the role. For more information, see https://www.ssa.gov/payee/index.htm.

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