ACUS Publishes Congressionally-Mandated Report on Social Security Administration’s Representative Payee Program

Contact: Harry M. Seidman
Phone: 202. 480. 2085

ACUS Publishes Congressionally-Mandated Report on Social Security Administration’s Representative Payee Program

Washington, D.C., June 30, 2020 – Today, ACUS published a new, congressionally-mandated report on information sharing between state courts and the Social Security Administration (SSA) as part of SSA's administering the Representative Payee Program. The Representative Payee Program protects some of the most vulnerable members of society by having SSA appoint representative payees to help manage their SSA benefits. State courts often appoint guardians or conservators to help manage assets for the same group of people. Information sharing between SSA and the state courts about the individuals involved in both programs could improve outcomes for beneficiaries, but there are certain legal and practical barriers to doing so. Recognizing these benefits, Congress directed SSA to commission a study by ACUS analyzing these barriers as part of the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018.

For the study, ACUS partnered with the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), which has significant expertise regarding technological and other issues connected with the administration of government programs. The jointly-authored ACUS-NAPA report provides a comprehensive analysis of the legal and practical barriers to information sharing and offers input to SSA on navigating these hurdles if it decides to proceed with increased information sharing with states. ACUS is grateful to Congress for the opportunity to work on this important topic and for the confidence shown in the agency, and it hopes that the study proves valuable to SSA, Congress, and others working in this space.

About ACUS

The Administrative Conference of the United States is an independent federal agency dedicated to improving the administrative process through consensus-driven applied research and providing nonpartisan expert advice and recommendations for federal agency procedures. Its membership is composed of senior federal officials, academics, and other experts from the private sector. Except for the Chairman, all Conference Members are unpaid.

The Conference is committed to promoting effective public participation and efficiency in the rulemaking process by leveraging interactive technologies and encouraging open communication with the public as well as making improvements to the regulatory process by reducing unnecessary litigation, and improving the use of science and the effectiveness of applicable laws.

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