Frequently Asked Questions for Beneficiaries

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I was contacted by ACDL to set up an interview, why?

ACDL is contracted with the SSA to conduct reviews of representative payees around Arizona. If we ask to meet with you as part of a review, it is to ask you questions about how your payee is serving you. That is, we want to know whether your payee is using your benefits appropriately and taking care of you. This interview does not affect your disability benefits eligibility. As part of our meeting, we will ask to tour your living space to ensure that your payee is providing you with clean and safe housing.

How do I confirm that you are associated with the SSA before I meet with you or let you tour my living space?

If you have concerns about the legitimacy of ACDL’s review process, please contact the SSA using the information provided on their Representative Payee webpage or at 410-965-9222. ACDL can also ask the SSA to contact you directly to confirm our identity. Lastly, our review staff will present you with an ACDL business card and their SSA-issued picture identification card on the day of your interview.

I am unhappy with my payee. For example, they do not return my phone calls, pay my bills late, withhold money from me, charge excessive fees, or do not tell me how much money I have. What can I do?

If you are experiencing these types of issues with your payee, please contact ACDL at or (800) 927-2260 (Toll Free). We may be able to review of your payee, conduct an investigation, or provide you with advocacy services. You may also contact the SSA at (800) 772-1213 if you are unable to resolve your concerns independently.

I suspect my payee is stealing money from me or misusing my benefits, what steps do I take?

Payees may only use benefit payments for the care of the beneficiary they serve. This includes paying for housing, utilities, food, clothing, medical care, education, and personal expenses. Payees may NOT use a beneficiary’s funds for their own expenses, business debt, or for any other purpose not authorized by the SSA. If you believe your payee is committing fraud or mishandling your benefits, please file a complaint with the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). The OIG may also be reached by mail, phone, or fax through the information provided on their “Other Ways to Report” webpage. You may also contact ACDL for assistance at or (800) 927-2260 (Toll Free), although our office does not perform the same investigatory functions or have the same resources as the OIG.

What resources are available to teach me about my rights when I have a payee?

The SSA has a website dedicated to frequently asked questions by beneficiaries and a guide for beneficiaries with payees. Topics include a summary of payee responsibilities, who can be your payee, and how to appeal the SSA’s decision to appoint a payee to you.

How can I become my own payee?

If you believe that you are capable of managing your own benefits and no longer need a payee, you may contact your local SSA Field Office for assistance. The SSA will ask for proof that you can handle your own money without assistance from a payee. This can include a doctor’s note, court order, or other evidence that demonstrates your ability to control your own finances.