Representative Payee

The Representative Payee Program started in 1993 as a partnership between Mental Health America of Greenville County (MHAGC) and community mental health centers. Our collaboration helps individuals with chronic mental illness manage their disability checks to pay their bills, including rent, utilities, medication, food, and other basic needs. Individuals, who are clients of the local community mental health centers, have eligibility determined by a physician and who are actively involved in their treatment programs are eligible. The Department of Mental Health recognizes the value of this service and encourages all mental health centers across the state to work collaboratively with nonprofit agencies to provide this service. 

MHAGC works closely with an individual's case manager to complete intake forms and develop a realistic monthly budget. Each month MHAGC prioritizes the payments for a person's rent, utility and medicine bills. With case management support MHAGC gives regular checks to program participants for food and personal expenditures. MHAGC must comply with Social Security Administration (SSA) audit guidelines and complete SSA annual reports. A record of each individual's funds is kept and MHAGC provides a copy of income and expenses on a regular basis. This gives individuals the opportunity to see their expenses and learn independent budgeting skills.  Rep. Payee helps keep individuals with chronic mental illness in housing and allocates their funds so that they have the financial resources to comply with mental health treatment plans. This places less demand on emergency rooms, shelters, soup kitchens, and other emergency services.

The Representative Payee services help to promote positive mental health and independent living.  Individuals' bills are paid to ensure stable housing opportunity. Funds are budgeted and dispersed to purchase food and other basic needs through each month. Some participants have been able to improve their housing situation and safe for emergencies or special needs i.e. high power bill, medical expenses, clothing, gifts (including Christmas). Providing the financial management also allows individuals to focus on their treatment trusting that funds will be budgeted for treatment and medication. This allowed the 185 participants in 2011 to focus more on their recovery and mental wellness.

If you would like to learn more please call 864-467-3344.

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