Any hints or information will be helpful.. all I really want to do is change her mailing address to my address now that she is in memory care, but with her dementia I can’t seem to do that. She does not have a my social security account, and I don’t think she could be helpful to change her address over the phone, it wouldn’t go well. So….what can anyone tell me about becoming rep payee? (I am poa, but apparently that doesn’t work for social security)
As far as becoming payee, I was POA for my brother, handling all financial matters large and small, and was the Trustee of his Trust as well. I never had to become POA. However, it was made clear to me by SS how to do it when I visited their office. I suggest, now that they are open, that you do just that.
At minimum you will need a diagnosis of incompetency at least, and your papers to say that you are currently her POA or Guardian or Conservator. Thereafter, as well as the meticulous paperwork you already keep acting for your Mom, you will need to make reports to Social Security about her SS check.
So very much depends upon what you are attempting to do for your Mom. Few of us here have gone through the Rep payee process. The Social Security online web pages also make clear the process.
Yes, I know this thread is two months old. I don't see though where anyone made this suggestion.
I'm glad to hear there are some local SS offices that are easy to work with. Mine has been the opposite. Many weeks after first starting to call them—and I'm polite as pie over the phone—I'm no further along. I'm actually about to call a different office in a nearby state.
I too will probably (reluctantly) have to apply to become rep. payee, and I myself am curious about navigating this process during COVID times. I've read that some offices ask you to send drivers licenses and other sensitive documents over the mail. That's ... not very workable.
If you haven't seen them, there are a few older threads in this forum on the subject, if you do a search for "payee." Be warned that you have to wade through some bad advice, like "Just get a joint account!" (you can't) and "Just have the checks go into your own checking!" (you can't). And few, if any, are from the past year. But I learned a few things from those threads, anyway.
Finally, I totally commiserate with avoiding it because you're scared it won't go well. So many things that I thought would be straightforward matters have been anything but. Good luck to you!
To make an address change, go to the post office in the town she lives in. Show them your POA and fill out the papers to change her mailing address to yours. Don't tell the post office she's in a nursing home. Don't tell them down at Social Security either when you go for the appointment about becoming payee. Telling them will just complicate matters. I had no trouble whatsoever. You should be fine. In fact, Social Security didn't even ask me for my father's mailing address because his checks were direct deposit. I think you should be fine just making an appointment and showing your POA papers.
*There are reasons, having to do with the very restrictive way my guardianship was set up by the court, that I'd rather avoid becoming rep. payee. Just trust me on this, for now, please.
Essentially, I just want SS to return payee status to my mother, and mail her checks to her long-time address. Without being a rep. payee. Will I have a hard time?
Don't mind me, I'm just thinking out loud.
I have kept her bank open to accept her SS checks. I have heard horror stories about bank account routing numbers changing, checks no longer going into bank accounts and sons/daughters pleading with SS just to change the routing number. I continue to keep my fingers crossed. They are impenetrable, like Fort Knox.
I do wish you the best of luck, though, and hope you are successful in your endeavors.