Protective Payee Department

MISSION: To keep the most vulnerable of our clients from becoming homeless and to provide them with the basic necessities.


Potential clients of the Protective Payee Program include any person who has demonstrated that they do not manage their income to adequately meet basic needs. For these individuals, the Social Security Administration appoints payees. The first and preferred choice for appointment as payee is a family member or other responsible person known to the individual; in some cases, no such person exists. For these individuals, the Freestore Foodbank is available to be appointed and to serve as payee.


  • To assure that basic necessities such as shelter and food are provided.
  • To enable each individual to be as self-sufficient as possible in managing their financial affairs.

Some customers demonstrate increased independence from their payee. This is demonstrated, for example, by increasing the size and reducing the number of checks given for discretionary money throughout the month, providing the payee with increased immediate control over his or her finances.



Protective Payees work with customers in need and/or that are referred by the Hamilton County Mental Health Board, the Hamilton County Developmentally Disabled Services Board and the Health Care for the Homeless Board by performing tasks in five areas:

  • Budgeting – Preparation of a monthly budget and disbursement of checks. This is negotiated with the customer. Case managers (and others) may have input in this process.
  • Banking – Overseeing and reviewing bank deposits, statements of accounts and other matters related to the customer’s financial institution.
  • Linkage-Referral-Advocacy – Working with landlords, Social Security Administration representatives, and others whose relationships affect the client’s finances.
  • Consultation with Case Managers – Sharing information with and obtaining information from the customer’s case manager, in those instances where one exists.
  • Crisis Intervention – Taking direct steps on behalf of the customer outside of the Freestore Foodbank to address emergency conditions or situations. In practice, the bulk (90%) of a payee’s activities fall within the first three categories listed above.


The relationship between the payee and the customer is primary. The needs and desires of the customer will be honored to the greatest degree possible. In some instances, this may result in conflict between the payee and other persons, such as a case manager, friend, or family member of the client. The payee will consider input from any interested person. The client’s desires, however, will be weighed most heavily.

At no time will the payee give a customer all of their funds. Each customer, however, will have some discretionary money. The customer is responsible for making those funds last until more income becomes available.

For more information, please contact Tonya Jallow at 513.357.4600.

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