August 01, 2018

WINGS & Federal Representative Payee Programs

Representative Payees

Federal agencies may appoint representative payees to manage federal benefits for individuals who are not able to manage such benefits. The Social Security Administration and the Veterans Administration have the largest payee programs.  Representative payee appointments and state court guardianship appointments serve generally the same populations – and often the roles are performed by the very same people – yet there is little coordination between the two systems, which can sometimes put individuals at risk. See GAO, Guardianships: Collaboration Needed to Protect Incapacitated Elderly People

Federal Programs

Social Security Administration (SSA)

  • The SSA appoints an SSA regional representative for each state WINGS. 
  • The goal is to enhance coordination between state courts with guardianship jurisdiction and the SSA representative payee program. 
  • SSA sponsors conference calls with WINGS state coordinators and SSA representatives.
  • Through the WINGS-SSA connection, SSA developed The Social Security Representative Payee Program: Judicial Training Guide.

Veterans Administration (VA)

  • The VA Fiduciary Program was established to protect Veterans and other beneficiaries who are unable to manage their benefits.

  • The VA has appointed a VA “point of contact” for state WINGS groups.  

Federal agencies may appoint representative payees to manage federal benefits for individuals who are not able to manage such benefits. The Social Security Administration and the Veterans Administration have the largest payee programs.  Representative payee appointments and state court guardianship appointments serve generally the same populations – and often the roles are performed by the very same people – yet there is little coordination between the two systems, which can sometimes put individuals at risk. See GAO, Guardianships: Collaboration Needed to Protect Incapacitated Elderly People.

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