Social Security: How To Provide and Update Your Advance Designation of a Representative Payee


The Social Security Administration offers advance designation to capable adults and emancipated minors who are applying for or receiving Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income or Special Veterans Benefits. If you become unable to manage or direct others to manage your benefits in the future, someone you trust may be appointed to manage your benefits for you.

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Advance designation allows you to designate up to three individuals to serve as a representative payee for you. The SSA contacts advance designees if they need to find a representative payee to assist you in managing your benefits.

The SSA noted that advance designation is not an appointment of a representative payee and it does not give power of attorney. Advance designation is also optional, and you can update or withdraw your advance designation at any time. If you participate, the SSA will send you a notice each year listing your advance designees for review.

You can submit and update your advance designation of representative payee when you apply for benefits or after you are receiving benefits. You can do this by logging into your personal mySocialSecurity account, calling 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or contacting your local field office.

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You must provide your designees’ names, telephone numbers and their relationship to you if you choose to provide it. A notice is sent out each year listing the names of the individual(s) you have chosen along with reminders regarding how to update this information.

The SSA will keep your advance designation in their records if your claim is denied or if you stop receiving benefits. If you reapply for benefits, file an appeal or begin receiving benefits again, this information can still be accessed by the SSA.

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About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.
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