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Who Will Control Your Social Security Income If You Become Unable to Manage Your Finances? The Answer May Surprise You. Thumbnail

Who Will Control Your Social Security Income If You Become Unable to Manage Your Finances? The Answer May Surprise You.

Do you or a family member receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits? 

What would occur if you or a loved one who receives these benefits become mentally or physically incapable of managing the money? 

Per the Social Security Administration, they will  " appoint a suitable representative payee who manages the payments on behalf of the beneficiaries. Generally, we look for family or friends to serve as payees. When friends or family members are not able to serve as payees, we look for qualified organizations."  www.ssa.gov/payee 

Can my Power of Attorney that can take care of that?

What may surprise you, is that if you become incapacitated, the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not recognize your Power of Attorney designee as the person that will be able to take over the responsibility to manage your SS/SSI payments. 

What is a Representative Payee?

A person or an organization that is appointed by the Social Security Administration to receive and manage your Social Security Benefits when you can't manage your own finances.

What tasks can the Representative Payee undertake?

Your payee will receive your Social Security payments and is responsible for determining your needs for living expenses and medical care and will distribute your funds for fulfilling your needs. They are also responsible for recording these transactions and keeping an account of these funds for your future benefit. 

Can I have a say in who my Representative Payee is in the event that I end up needing one?

The good news is that because of the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018, the SSA now gives you the ability to make an advance designation of who you would like to assume these duties. You are now able to choose up to three designees that you trust to handle your benefits in the future if the need arises. 

How do I request advance designation for my Representative Payee?

You can submit your request at your local Social Security office, via telephone at 1-800-772-1213, or on My Social Security Account Online. You will need to submit your designee's name, telephone number and if you chose, their relationship to you. You may change your list of designees at any time. If the SSA Administration determines that you require the use of a Representative Payee, then they will first evaluate your choices for suitability before assigning you a payee.  

All information above is from the Social Security Administration website SSA.gov/payee