Representative Payee Programs

A representative payee program is a program that helps individuals who are unable to manage their Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Veterans’ or other financial benefits. A representative payee is appointed to manage the benefits on behalf of the beneficiary. The program is designed for individuals who are unable to manage their finances due to physical or mental health conditions, such as severe mental illness, addiction, or dementia. Other individuals who may need a representative payee include minors, individuals with developmental disabilities, or those who are legally incompetent. The representative payee program helps ensure that the benefits are used for the beneficiary’s basic needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter. It also helps prevent financial exploitation and abuse of vulnerable individuals.

While not a comprehensive list, the United Way of Greater Cincinnati lists 3 local providers of representative payee services. These include:

MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA OF NORTHERN KENTUCKY & SOUTHWEST OHIO, with an office in Blue Ash at 11238 Cornell Park Drive, phone number (513) 721-2910, and an office in Newport, located at 1002 Monmount Street, phone number (859) 431-1077.

PERSONAL GUARDIANSHIP SERVICES, located at 8075 Reading Road, Suite 208 in Cincinnati, phone number (513) 821-5500.

WELCOME HOUSE OF NORTHERN KENTUCKY, with an office in Covington (Northern KY) at 205 West Pike Street, phone number (859) 431-8717.

THE FREESTORE FOODBANK is one of these programs, which additionally has an online initial application form for their payee program. The office is located at 112 East Liberty Street in Cincinnati, phone number (513) 241-1064. The Freestore Payee Program, similar to most payee programs, focuses on 5 specific areas:

1. Preparation of a monthly budget and distribution.

2. Overseeing and reviewing customers financial activities and records.

3. Working with landlords, Social Security Administration representatives and others whose relationships affect the customers finances.

4. Working with the customer and their case manager or aiding the customer in obtaining a case manager, if needed.

5. Taking direct steps on behalf of the customer outside the Freestore Foodbank to address emergency conditions or situations.

There are other local providers of payee services in the Greater Cincinnati Area, not listed in the United Way Database. According to the Social Security Administration, a representative payee can be anyone who is concerned about the beneficiary’s welfare, such as a family member, friend, legal guardian, or institution. The SSA prefers that the payee be a spouse, parent, relative with custody, or public or non-profit agency.

Representative Payee Programs can help individuals achieve greater financial stability by making sure bills are paid on time, and that budgeting occurs to address future needs. The Social Security Administration has answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Representative Payee Programs available on their website. If you know of other payee programs available in the local area, please reach out to us, or add your information in our online discussion forum related to this article.

You can find more resources related to financial assistance by selecting the “Financial Resources” category tab on our Social Service “Utilization Library” page.

Shared by: United Resource Connection