Representative Payee Program

Who can use this service?

The Office of the Public Guardian provides services as payee for individuals who:

  • have difficulty managing money or their financial affairs
  • are required to have a designated payee by the Social Security Administration, and
  • are receiving case management services through another public agency or a private non-profit organization

Is there a charge for this service?

The charge for this service is based on the approved monthly rate by the Social Security Administration, which is currently $42 per month.

What is the process?

Step 1: Agency staff call the Office of the Public Guardian.

Individuals may be referred to this program by a public agency or a private non-profit. If you represent a public agency or a private non-profit and believe that a client meets the criteria for this program, please call the Office of the Public Guardian at 805-781-5845. You may talk to our investigator about whether a particular situation would be appropriate for the Public Guardian to investigate prior to submitting a formal referral.

Step 2: Submit a formal referral.

Representatives of a public agency or a private non-profit may submit a referral for this program by faxing a completed referral form to 805-781-5566.

Download the referral form here

The form must be filled out completely. Incomplete referrals will be returned. 

Step 3: Investigator will follow up.

Upon receipt of a referral, the Office of the Public Guardian will evaluate an individual's need for financial assistance in managing their monthly income. The office will also determine whether there are any other persons capable and willing to serve in this capacity, as the Public Guardian is considered the last resort. 

Step 4: Public Guardian serves as payee if needed.

If approved, the Office of the Public Guardian will submit a formal application to the Social Security Administration requesting the designation as the Representative Payee. This approval process can take from 30 to 90 days.

When and where is this service offered?

This service is available throughout the year during regular business hours except during scheduled holidays.