Millions of Americans manage money or property for a loved one who’s unable to pay bills or make financial decisions. To help financial caregivers, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or the CFPB, worked closely with the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging to prepare four (4) consumer guides:

  1. Help for agents under a power of attorney.
  2. Help for court-appointed guardians of property and conservators.
  3. Help for trustees under a revocable living trust.
  4. Help for representative payees and VA fiduciaries.

Three of the CFPB guides, Help for Agents Under a Power of Attorney, Help for Court-Appointed Guardians of Property and Conservators, and Help for Trustees under a Revocable Living Trust were previously published on this blog. Another guide is provided in this blog post.

The Fourth Guide: Help for Representative Payees and VA Fiduciaries

This guide is for those who have been appointed by a government agency to manage another person’s income benefits, such as Social Security or Veterans Affairs benefit checks.

The Social Security Administration, the Office of Personnel Management, and the Railroad Retirement Administration call the person who is appointed to manage another person’s income benefits a representative payee. The Department of Veterans Affairs has a similar program, but the person appointed is called a VA fiduciary. A representative payee or VA fiduciary has authority to manage the benefit checks of the agency appointing you. You have no legal authority to manage other property, financial affairs, or medical matters belonging to the income beneficiary.

As a representative payee or VA fiduciary, you are a fiduciary. A fiduciary is anyone named to manage money or property for someone else. The role of a fiduciary is a serious one and carries with it legal responsibilities. A fiduciary must be trustworthy, honest, and act in good faith. Importantly, a fiduciary must act only in the best interests of the person who is the actual income beneficiary.

In the guide describing duties as a representative payee and VA fiduciary, you’ll find brief tips to help you avoid problems and resources for finding more information.

The Guide is annexed here –

Download (PDF, 1.67MB)

For additional information concerning social security disability appeals, visit:

Social Security Disability Appeals


For additional information concerning VA compensation and pension benefits, visit:

VA Compensation and Pension Benefits