Organizational Payee Program
The Area IV Organizational Payee Program is a Social Security Administration (SSA) fee-for-service payee program. A “payee” is an individual or organization appointed by SSA that receives Social Security and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments for someone who cannot manage or direct someone else to manage his/her money. SSA deposits client’s Social Security income into an individual account managed by Area IV. Payee Program staff work with our clients to develop a monthly spending plan for their Social Security benefits to create a stable living environment and ensure that the basic needs of food, shelter, clothing and medical care are met. Our clients receive regular payments for food and spending each month based on their monthly spending plan. Client bills are sent to Area IV and are paid directly to creditors each month. We also save any leftover funds for future needs such as moving, new clothes or other unexpected expenses.
The only program requirement is that potential clients receive Social Security benefits of some type: Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability (SSD) or Social Security Retirement Benefits. After talking with potential clients about their needs, Area IV staff submit an application to Social Security requesting to be appointed as “payee” for the client. Social Security makes the ultimate decision to appoint a payee based on a thorough review process.
A typical Organizational Payee Program client is a low-income older person or a person with disabilities who is not able to manage their own finances and does not have family or friends who are willing and/or able to assist with the monthly paying of bills or related paper work. The inability to manage one’s own finances can result from a variety of reasons including severe forgetfulness, confusion, physical or developmental disabilities, drug or alcohol abuse and mental illness. Some clients have been the victims of, or are at risk of, financial exploitation. We can also assist children who receive social security benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is Payee court ordered?
A: No. The Social Security Administration determines if someone needs a payee based on a thorough review process which includes contacting the beneficiary, family, friends and other individuals to gather information.
Q: How do I get services?
A: Contact Kevin Sietsma, Organizational Payee Program Coordinator and complete a referral form.
Q: Is there a fee?
A: There is a $41/monthly fee for this service. Social Security determines the amount of the fee for organizational payee programs.
Q: What is the fee used for?
A: The fee covers part of the cost of the service which includes: staff time, cost of printing checks, postage, supplies and equipment. The $41 does not cover the entire cost of client’s service each month. Area IV uses grants and other income to cover the remaining costs.