Cognitive Impairment and Social Security’s Representative Payee Program

TitleCognitive Impairment and Social Security’s Representative Payee Program
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsSanzenbacher, GT, Belbase, A
Document NumberWP#2016-12
InstitutionCenter for Retirement Research at Boston College
KeywordsCognition, Cognitive Ability, Social Security

Social Security’s Representative Payee Program allows one individual to receive benefits on behalf of a retiree or disabled person who is incapable of managing them. In the case of retirees with cognitive impairment, the program could help prevent fraud by ensuring that Social Security benefits are immediately turned over to a capable individual. This paper seeks to answer three questions about the Representative Payee Program and its relationship to cognitive impairment. First, what share of individuals with cognitive impairment use a representative payee? Second, if individuals with cognitive impairment are not using a payee, what are they doing instead? Finally, is it possible to identify recipients with cognitive impairment who have no help managing their finances (through a representative payee or otherwise), a situation that makes them especially vulnerable to fraud?

Citation Key10777