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Advancing the Human & Civil Rights of People with Disabilities in Illinois



How We Protect Social Security Beneficiaries

In Illinois, the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018 directs Equip for Equality to conduct performance reviews of Representative Payees to determine if Beneficiary funds are properly safeguarded and their needs are met, along with additional discretionary reviews. The Act also directs Equip for Equality to conduct outreach and educational trainings to ensure that Payees understand their duties and responsibilities.

Equip for Equality’s Representative Payee Performance Reviews Include:

  • An interview with the Representative Payee, both individual and organizational Payees;
  • A review of the Representative Payee’s financial records for a sample of Beneficiaries served;
  • Interviews of each Beneficiary included in the review and visits to their homes, work place or other settings where the Beneficiaries engage in activities during the day;
  • Interviews with guardians and, where necessary, other third parties.

Review of Financial Records Includes:

  • Budgets
  • Ledgers
  • Bank statements
  • Collective bank account statements
  • Bills
  • Bank reconciliation records
  • Receipts
  • Cancelled checks
  • Rental agreements

Outcome of the Review:

If Equip for Equality’s review finds that the Representative Payee is not carrying out its duties, corrective action(s) may be needed for the Payee to continue to manage the Beneficiary’s money. Once all corrective actions are implemented, or if the review finds that no corrective action is needed, the Payee will be notified that the review is complete.

How to Ask for a Review:

If you want to submit a request for a Representative Payee to be reviewed by the Social Security Representative Payee Review Program or would like to find out more about these reviews, contact Lydia Sharp at 312-895-7302 or email

Office of Inspector General SSA Fraud Hotline:

If you think someone is committing fraud, waste, or abuse against Social Security, contact the SSA OIG Fraud Hotline at or call 1-800-269-0271. TTY: 1-866-501-2101.

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Last updated: December 04, 2023

This website is made possible by funding support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, both the Administration on Developmental Disabilities and the Center for Mental Health Services of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; and the U.S. Department of Education, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. The contents of this website are solely the responsibility of Equip for Equality and do not necessarily represent the official view of any of these agencies.

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