Representative Payee Services: What is it and How does it Help People?

Piggy Bank SavingsRepresentative Payee (Rep Payee) Services are incredibly important to individuals and families in Hawaii, but many people have never heard of this valuable resource. Organizational Representative Payees are fiduciaries appointed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and are entrusted to act in the best interest of their clients.

At Helping Hands Hawaii, our Rep Payees manage the funds of more than 650 individuals who are incapable of managing or directing the management of their assets on their own. Our consumers are mainly adults with mental illnesses or substance abuse disorders that hinder them from making financial decisions by themselves. Some do not have family members who are willing or able to step in and assist them. In these situations, they choose to elect a Rep Payee to help them manage their funds.

In other cases, the SSA appoints a Rep Payee to assist an individual. If the individual does not comply, then the SSA can withhold the person’s benefits until one is selected. This is to ensure that benefits are applied toward things that will improve the individual’s quality of life.

It is a Rep Payees responsibility to make sure their consumers’ basic financial needs are met, including directing funds to pay for rent, utilities, food and clothing. They help to safeguard their consumers’ physical well-being, maintain their housing, upkeep their benefits and provide other crucial necessities when individuals are unable to do this on their own. Rep Payees also assist consumers with budget planning and put aside funds to build their clients’ savings or allow for some spending money. Planning for future financial needs can help to improve their clients’ quality of life.

Each consumer has his or her own unique challenges, and it is common for some individuals to need more help than others to oversee their funds. However, no matter what our clients require, all Rep Payees are legally and ethically bound to act in their best interest, and our staff is committed to ensuring that consumers are able to live their best lives.

Did you know?
Helping Hands Hawaii’s Representative Payees manage benefits like Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance as well as Retirement, Survivors and Veterans benefits too!

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