The Representative Payee or Fiduciary can only use your benefits to pay for your needs. They are not allowed to use your money for their own use. This means that your money must be kept separate from their money. The Representative Payee or Fiduciary must be able to provide an accounting to the benefits administrator (SSA, RRB, or VA) if one is requested.
Because the Representative Payee or Fiduciary has access to your benefit income, they hold quite a bit of power over your money. If you feel like your Representative Payee or Fiduciary is not handling your money properly or is stealing from you, notify your local SSA, RRB, or VA office immediately.
If you believe that your Representative Payee or Fiduciary is using your money improperly, you might want to get help from an attorney. Call the Legal Services for the Elderly Helpline at 1-800-750-5353 to talk to an attorney for free.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Representative Payee may not charge a fee for their services without written approval from the SSA or RRB. The Representative Payee only has authority over your Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefit income. This means that they are not in charge of your other sources of income or savings, and have no other legal authority over you.