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Choose a Representative Payee for Social Security to Consider Before You May Need One

April 3, 2020 • By

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

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The future can be uncertain. However, our Advance Designation program can help put you in control of your benefits if a time comes when you need a representative payee to help manage your money. Advance Designation enables you to identify up to three people, in priority order, whom you would like to serve as your potential representative payee.

We recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of our Advanced Designation program. Since its launch in March 2020, more than one million eligible individuals have opted to participate.

The following people may choose an Advance Designation:

  • Adults and emancipated minors applying for benefits who do not have a representative payee.
  • Adult and emancipated minor beneficiaries/recipients who do not have a representative payee.

We offer Advance Designation if you fall into one of the above categories and are capable of making your own decisions. You can submit your Advance Designation information when you:

  • File a claim for benefits online.
  • Use the application available in your personal my Social Security account.
  • Call us by telephone at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

In the event that you can no longer make your own decisions, you and your family will have peace of mind knowing you already chose someone you trust to manage your benefits.

We have updated our Frequently Asked Questions to answer any questions you may have about Advance Designation. You may also find more information about representative payees in our blog post.


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  1. Glynn J.

    O i call the social security office lady at the big office then Local office tell me why the old woman said I can’t get my father Retirement now I see why ppl go to over Local ppl head because they not right

  2. Glynn J.

    I been disabled before age of six years old born with cerebral palsy and ik can get my father Retirement from the Railroad when my father pass away I call the railroad talk to someone he was rude to me I just give up but ik can get it please help me

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Glynn. Thank you for using our blog. Because your father was receiving a benefit from the Railroad, they are the agency that will determine benefit payment. The Railroad Retirement Board makes their own determinations and are responsible for their own programs. We hope this helps.

  3. Patrick

    If you have a payee and you file to have it changed it so you can be your own payee Does the checks cease until they make a decision? Do you keep getting your checks every month until a decision is made

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Patrick, thank you for your question. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for beneficiaries that have a representative payee, specifically the question “What if I believe I no longer need a representative payee?” We hope this is helpful.

  4. Enid T.

    I’ve been in appeals since 2018. I have my las appeal denied in 3-13-2020. For a hearing is supposed to be another appeal by 5-13-2020.

    But this situation of covid 19 has everything closed.

    Do I Have the opportunity of my hearing after 5-13-2020 because of this lockdown?

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Enid. If you have a hearing scheduled, we will call you to discuss alternatives for continuing with your hearing, including offering a telephonic hearing. Our call may come from a PRIVATE number and not from a U.S. Government phone. Please remember that our employees will not threaten you or ask for any form of payment. Please subscribe and stay up to date with the latest Social Security information on Coronavirus (COVID-19).

  5. Domingo R.

    The question that I was asked, is if the beneficiaries reside outside of the United States & are receiving their benefits in a foreign country & they have 30% of their benefits deducted from their annual benefits for tax purposes, will they also receive this stimulus benefit.

    • Domingo R.

      sorry, this question belongs in another thread of this blog

  6. Hatem

    could easily read your blog. Now, it’s an unnecessary struggle. Please use typefaces with thick and thin lines. Modernist type is torture for a lot of people.
    https://ar.ottaporn.com/

  7. A.G C.

    Hello SSA staff. Good day. I hereby request your good office to send me a copy of my Year 2018, SSA Form 1099. Stay safe you all for COVID19. My SSA online account was unable to provide/print me a copy if it is not Year 2019 only. Many thanks.

    • Vonda V.

      Hi A.G. Thank you for using our blog. For a replacement SSA-1099 prior to 2019, you will need to call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or call your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  8. S L.

    I stared getting SS when I was 63 my gull retirement age was 66 will I continue to get the money at 63 age I have work will my benefit go up now I am 66

    • Vonda V.

      Hi S L. When you reach full retirement age, we will recalculate your benefit amount to leave out the months when we reduced or withheld benefits due to your excess earnings. In addition, each year we review your work record. If your earnings for the prior year are higher than one of the years we used to compute your retirement benefit, we will recalculate your benefit amount. We pay the increase retroactive to January the year after you earned the month. We hope this helps.

  9. ALFRED C.

    Once upon a time, before I got glaucoma, I could easily read your blog. Now, it’s an unnecessary struggle. Please use typefaces with thick and thin lines. Modernist type is torture for a lot of people. Try humanist type. Also more contrast would help.

  10. Jackie W.

    Hi I’m 53 an was diagnosed with a severe mood disorder an severe aniexty have my on multiple medications I applied under one with disability on behalf of my ex husband that passed away last august was together 21 years partial on DSBD ,Partial on my SSD Credits an partial SSI I have already been to court in 2008 an replied November 19,2019 I have my medical doctors records an saw a state doctor april 19,2020 will be 5 monthes waiting an I have no income an not sure how long I’ll have a place to stay a friend let me use a room so I maybe living in my car an since this covid -19 I was told now the SSA want continue my determination until this is over at my age an mental stability I’m scared an dont know how I’ll make it is there any way one could apply for a hardship allowance an i did receive snap but got a letter today said i was cut off after i mailed my redetermination form back in 2 weeks ago wich they said they didnt recieve now theres a chance I want even be able to eat I need help an dont understand why I was cut off in a time of need in this pandemic any help be appreciated

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Jackie, thank you for using our blog to ask your question. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information.

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