The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income benefits to many of the most vulnerable members of society: the young, the elderly, and people with disabilities. When a beneficiary is not capable of managing his or her benefits, SSA appoints an individual, known as a representative payee, to receive and manage benefits on behalf of that beneficiary. In many cases, the individual serving as a beneficiary’s representative payee has also been appointed by a state court or agency to serve as the beneficiary’s guardian or conservator.
In April 2018, the President signed into law the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018, Pub. L. No. 115-165, 132 Stat. 1257, which, among other things, calls for a report from ACUS on information sharing between SSA and state courts and agencies regarding representative payee information. Better information sharing between SSA and states regarding representative payees will lead to greater protections for vulnerable Social Security beneficiaries.
Accordingly, ACUS is conducting a study that will examine the potential opportunities, barriers, and risks of information sharing regarding representative payees and will explore how enhanced information sharing would be implemented. The study will culminate in a final report that will be submitted to Congress by June 30, 2020.