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Current Issues in Social Security: Financial Capability and Representative Payees

Summary of Publication

Millions of the most vulnerable Social Security and SSI beneficiaries are well-served by representative payees managing their benefits. Given likely aging trends, the need for representative payees will increase substantially, especially for beneficiaries at advanced ages. The representative payee program has its challenges, but relatively simple enhancements would make an already strong program even better. Greater use of technological safeguards to monitor spending will certainly help, as will reasonable oversight and program flexibility. Such reforms become all the more important given the projected increase in the use of representative payees in the future.

For further reading, please see:

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, “Informing Social Security’s Process for Financial Capability Determination,” 2016, The National Academies Press,


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