Financial Management Support for SSA Beneficiaries: Looking Beyond the Payee

Harper A.
Author (Faculty Member): 
Date of Pub: 
May 2018
Publisher Info: 

Center For Retirement Research at Boston College


People with mental illness who are on Social Security Administration disability benefits have few options for support with their finances beyond handing control over to a representative payee.  This helps some, but many others’ needs remain unmet.  This research presents findings that examined the support options for people in the gray area between those who are clearly incapable and must have another person control their finances and those who are clearly capable of managing their finances without assistance.  The research focused on understanding how the broader financial services environment impacts financial management.  We gathered qualitative data from people with personal experience using a representative payee and explored innovative financial tools and products that could be helpful, as well as potential shared control/legal arrangements outside the payee mechanism.