The Social Security Administration has recently amended its regulations regarding the investigation of representative payees. Representative payees are persons appointed by a recipient of Social Security benefits (or appointed on their behalf) when the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) determines that it would be in the best interest of a recipient for a payee to receive the direct payment.
It was previously the law that Social Security had to conduct face-to-face interviews with potential payees as part of the investigatory process even if the payees had previously filed to become payees. Their new rule, effective December 10, 2008, no longer requires the SSA to conduct a face-to-face interview with an individual or organization if the SSA has already conducted a face-to-face interview with that payee and the payee is qualified and is currently acting as a payee. However, the SSA still has the discretion to require an in-person meeting if they deem it necessary.
According to the SSA, this new change will streamline the payee application process, expedite payment of benefits, and reduce the burden in SSA field offices. You may find a copy of the regulation in the Federal Register here.