Many people who receive Social Security benefits are elderly or disabled. At some point, they may find they are no longer able to manage their benefits. Their family or another interested person might have to set up a conservatorship or guardianship in order to take over for them. However, that’s expensive and time-consuming. There’s another way – the Social Security Advance Designation.
What Is the Social Security Advance Designation?
You can choose a representative payee to handle your benefits at any point after you start receiving benefits. However, sometimes life happens fast. It’s not uncommon for emergency health conditions to disrupt an individual’s ability to handle his or her own affairs. The same holds true for Social Security benefits.
Instead of waiting for the worst to happen, you can select one or more individuals to serve as your representative payee if necessary.
How Does it Work?
The Social Security Advance Designation takes the guesswork out of who will manage your account if you cannot.
You can make your designations by:
- calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213,
- going to your mySocialSecurity account, or
- making the designation when you apply for benefits.
However, you cannot design the following people to serve as your future representative payee:
- Nursing homes
- Law firms
- Any organizations.
You can only name individuals in your Social Security Advance Designation.
Social Security reminds beneficiaries of their designations every year. Watch for their notification because you might need to change whom you have named as a potential representative payee.
When Will Control Pass to the Representative Payee?
Two things need to happen before the Social Security Advance Designation takes effect:
- The Social Security recipient’s ability to manage their benefits is confirmed; and
- Social Security determines the designated individual is suitable to be a representative payee.
It’s important to understand that your advance designation does not immediately turn your designated person into a representative payee. The person you choose will not have any rights to manage your account until events trigger the advance designation.
Learn More About Social Security Disability Benefits
Applying for benefits like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplement Security Income (SSI) can be confusing. The application process is long and frustrating, so you need someone on your side. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.