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If you become mentally or physically unable to handle your own money, a family member or someone who is able to help you should contact OPM as soon as possible. If the annuitant cannot handle the benefits, we require that the payments be made to a court-appointed fiduciary or to a person we select to represent the annuitant.
OPM will not make payment based on a power of attorney or the existence of a joint account with the annuitant at a financial institution. If you are responsible for the care or custody of a person who is either mentally or physically unable to handle his or her own money, you should contact OPM as soon as possible. See the form below for instructions on applying to become a representative payee.
A person or institution appointed by a State court to be responsible for managing funds on behalf of another person. OPM must have an original or certified copy of the court appointment in this situation.
OPM has the authority to make payments to a representative who is willing to act on behalf of the annuitant. In addition to receiving annuity payments, the person representing the annuitant is responsible for acting in the annuitant's best interests by using the payments to benefit the annuitant, authorizing the correct withholding of Federal income tax from the annuity, and selecting the Federally sponsored health benefit coverage for the annuitant when applicable. When a family member or friend contacts us regarding an annuitant who is unable to handle their benefits, we will give them full instructions on what to do to take care of the retirement benefit for the annuitant.
This representative payee form (RI 20-7) explains what is involved in being a representative payee.