Disability Rights California launches program to improve representative payee management of Social Security benefits

Press Release
Cropped photo of two people at a desk showing only their arms and hands. One of the people is being interview by the other.

(Sacramento – October 23, 2018) Disability Rights California (DRC) has launched a program to improve oversight of Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits managed by representative payees.

If the Social Security Administration decides a beneficiary cannot manage their SSA income, they will assign a representative payee to help the beneficiary manage their benefits.  A representative payee can be an individual, like a family member, or an organization. 

DRC’s Office of Payee Review and Beneficiary Assistance (OPRABA) will interview hundreds of representative payees and review their finances to ensure that they are following legal requirements and best practices.  OPRABA will also interview beneficiaries as part of the review to make sure their needs are met.

 “Since the representative payee is so vital to the person who receives benefits, OPRABA will conduct reviews to make sure they are acting in the best interest of the beneficiary,” said Katie Hornberger, Director of OPRABA. “The reviews will determine if the payee is complying with the law and using appropriate money management practices.”

OPRABA will recommend corrective action, when necessary, to help the representative payee improve fund management. Our staff will also provide educational training to payees and beneficiaries, prevent and report misuse of funds, and connect beneficiaries to outside services agencies to address any need for advocacy.  

For more information about DRC’s Office of Payee Review and Beneficiary Assistance, contact Jung Pham, Managing Attorney at (510) 267-1266.


Disability Rights California is a non-profit organization founded in 1978. We protect the rights of people with disabilities. For more information, visit www.disabilityrightsca.org.