On April 13, the President signed the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018. The law directs state Protection & Advocacy system organizations to conduct all periodic onsite reviews along with additional discretionary reviews. In addition, the P&As will conduct educational visits and conduct reviews based on allegations they receive of payee misconduct. The CNMI state P&A is the Northern Marianas Protection & Advocacy Systems, Inc., or NMPASI.
Representative payees are responsible for keeping records and, when requested, reporting to Social Security how they spend the benefits received on behalf of a Social Security beneficiary or Supplemental Security Income recipient. Representative Payees may receive a report form used to account for the Social Security or SSI benefits received or we may select you for a representative payee review. The review is to determine if you have performed the following duties:
• Managed funds so the beneficiary(ies) have no unmet current needs
• Accounted for all funds received and spent
• Conserved any unspent funds in appropriate manner, and
• Complied with representative payee accounting and reporting responsibilities.
• When allegations of payee misconduct are received by NMPASI, a review is conducted which includes:
• an interview with the individual or organizational representative payee;
• a review of the representative payee’s financial records for the requested beneficiary or sample of beneficiaries served;
• a home visit and interview for each beneficiary included in the review; and
• an interview with legal guardians and third parties, when applicable.
• When NMPASI schedules the review, the reviewer will request the records needed for each beneficiary. Some common financial documents that representative payees may be asked to provide are:
• a beneficiary budget;
• a beneficiary ledger;
• individual bank statements;
• Collective account bank statements;
• receipts of income;
• account balances;
• bank reconciliation records;
• cancelled checks;
• expense documentation including receipts, bills, and rental agreements;
• how the payee keeps conserved benefits (e.g., checking, savings, etc.); and
• any other financial documents that pertain to a beneficiary’s Social Security and/or SSI benefits.
If the results of the review find that the payee is not fulfilling the duties of a representative payee, corrective action(s) may be required in order for the payee to continue to serve. NMPASI or the Social Security Administration will contact the payee to explain the findings and initiate a corrective action. Once all corrective actions are satisfactorily completed, NMPASI or the Social Security Administration will notify the payee in writing that the review is complete.
If the review finds that no corrective action is required, the representative payee will receive a notice advising them that the review is complete.
To ensure satisfactory oversight of Social Security and SSI benefits, NMPASI will conduct a home visit and interview of beneficiaries served by the representative payee selected for a review. If applicable, NMPASI will also conduct an interview with legal guardians or third parties.
Resources are available for Representative Payees at the Social Security website: https://www.ssa.gov/payee/
For more information about Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries or to report suspect misconduct by a Representative Payee, contact NMPASI at 235-7273/7274 or visit us online at www.nmpasi.org.