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What is an advance designation?

On Behalf of | Nov 21, 2022 | Social Security Disability

If you receive Social Security Disability benefits, you likely receive the payment in your bank account or on a designated card. Anyone getting benefits who is an adult with the cognitive ability to handle their own finances will receive the money directly.

However, if you are not an adult or you are an adult who is unable to take care of your own finances, you have a representative payee who receives the payments for you. You can plan ahead if you may one day be incapacitated and choose people who can serve as your representative payee in the future through an advance designation.

How it works

The advance designation allows you to choose up to three people who could be your representative payee. Those people should be trustworthy and whoever would provide your care services. The representative payee cannot use the money they receive for themselves. They must spend it on your needs. The Social Security Administration conducts routine audits to be sure the payee is properly spending your money.

The SSA will consider the people named in your advance designation if the time comes when you need a representative payee. Do note the SSA has final approval and will conduct a review of the people to determine suitability for serving as a representative payee. There is no guarantee one of the people you name will end up in the position.

How to set it up

To use the advance designation, you can either set it up when you first apply for benefits or you can do it on your account on the SSA website. You also can call the SSA, and someone there will help you set it up.