By Lizna Odhwanic
Some people who receive monthly Social Security or Supplemental Benefits may need help managing their money. When Social Security receives information indicating that you need assistance, it will work with you to find the most appropriate representative beneficiary to administer your benefits. A representative beneficiary receives your monthly benefit on your behalf and must use the money to pay for your current needs, including:
- Housing and utilities.
- Medical and dental costs.
- Personal care items.
- Rehabilitation costs (if you have a disability).
If you need help managing your benefits, tell a Social Security representative that there is someone you’d like to see as your representative beneficiary. Your representative beneficiary should be someone you trust and see often, and who clearly understands your needs. Social service agencies, nursing homes, or other organizations are also qualified to be a representative beneficiary. Ask them to contact Social Security.
You can write to Social Security within 60 days of the assignment of a representative beneficiary if you do not agree that you need one or if you want another representative beneficiary.
Social Security also offers an option called “Advance Designation,” which allows you to designate someone now as your representative beneficiary in the future. In the event that you are no longer able to make your own financial decisions, you and your family will have peace of mind knowing that someone you trust can be appointed to manage your benefits for you.
You can submit your predestination request when you apply for benefits or after you already receive benefits. You can do this through your personal my Social Security account at www.ssa.gov/myaccount or by calling and speaking with a Social Security representative.
You can find more information at www.ssa.gov/payee.
Lizna Odhwani is a social security public affairs specialist based in Virginia. Contact her at [email protected]