If you are on Social Security, then you know that sometimes there’s a need to talk to the agency. Maybe you’ve changed your address, or perhaps a spouse died and you needed to adjust your monthly payment.
But what happens if you need to talk to Social Security, but you aren’t competent to do so? In that case, Social Security has a process by which someone can apply to be your “representative payee.” That’s the equivalent of a power of attorney to the rest of us; Social Security chose to call it something else. Usually a family member will be the person to apply to be your representative payee.
At the time when someone other than you needs to communicate with Social Security on your behalf, there is a process for that individual to be appointed as representative payee. But now, while you are competent, you have the opportunity to at least tell Social Security who you would want that person to be, should you ever need a representative payee. You can do that by logging into your my Social Security account, by telephone, in person, or in writing.
For more information on advance designation of a representative payee, please visit the Social Security website.
And if we can help you with any other advanced planning – like naming a durable power of attorney and health care proxy, creating a will and trust, or generally getting your ducks in a row – please reach out to our office.