Protecting Social Security Payout

Author

Weber Group at Raymond James

Posted on

Nov 11, 2022

Book/Edition

Pennsylvania - Greater Pittsburgh Area

With more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, planning for the possibility of long-term care, and considering who will make decisions if you can’t, is not just smart, it’s necessary.

 

PROTECTING YOURSELF

While you may think creating legal documents that grant authority for someone to act on your behalf, financially or even medically, will be enough to protect your wishes, usually more is required.

When it comes to handling Social Security payments for a disabled senior, establishing powers of attorney, medical  directives or guardianship arrangements are not enough. The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires a special designation known as representative payee.

A representative payee is someone who acts on behalf of another person who is incapable of representing themselves and is responsible for directing payouts exclusively to meet a beneficiary’s needs. The SSA may determine that an individual is incapable of managing or directing someone else to manage his or her benefits and would then appoint a representative payee.

Generally, a family member or friend serves as representative payee. If friends or family are not able to serve as payees, the SSA will look for qualified organizations to be representative payees.

A critical thing to keep in mind about the responsibilities of acting as a representative payee is that the permissions that accompany the role do not extend to other facets of your affairs. Making medical decisions or signing legal documents on your behalf will still require that someone be granted powers of attorney or guardianship.

PROTECTING A LOVED ONE

If you assume the role of representative payee, this will likely require a trip to a Social Security office and a completed SSA-11 form explaining why the beneficiary needs assistance and why they have selected you for the job.

Recall, too, that this designation will be in addition to any other legal or medical role you might be playing for your loved one. It’s one piece of the larger whole that, with forethought and planning, can help ensure your loved one’s – or your own – future is secure.


Editors Note: This article was submitted by Erin Weber. Erin is a Financial Advisor with the Weber Group of Raymond James. She may be reached at 878.208.1285 or
Erin.Weber@RaymondJames.com. Raymond James & Associates, Inc., member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC

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