The Representative Payee Program was established so that elderly and adults with disabilities could be helped to manage their limited incomes.
Recipients of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), veteran's benefits, Civil Service or Black Lung benefits are eligible for the Representative Payee Program. Under the program a trained officially designated volunteer acts as the representative payee of an adult with disabilities. The volunteer manages a direct deposit checking account of the client's funds to pay bills and make purchases, and monitors the client's other needs. The volunteer's liability is protected by being a local department of social services' volunteer.
Volunteers are trained by members of the Representative Payee Program Advisory Board (RPPAB) in their jurisdiction. After training, the volunteer works with the customer to manage his/her monthly finances. Volunteers are not guardians or power of attorneys for the clients.
Through the Representative Payee Program the elderly and individuals with disabilities are helped to maintain their independence, and avoid premature institutionalization.