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I'd like to hear from anybody who has experience with being a representative payee for Social Security. I have lots of questions and concerns.

My mother-in-law has recently moved into assisted living. I am POA and mange all of her financial and medical affairs and am a joint signer on her bank account. She has Social Security and other payments direct deposited into her account.

I simply want to update her mailing address so she (or I) can receive her Social Security end-of-year tax statement. SS says that statement will not be forwarded, and besides, even if it could be forwarded, her address forwarding order with the post office has already expired.

I was told at the SS office that she has to appear in person at a SS office in order to make that address change. Otherwise, I would have to apply as a Representative Payee and have her bank account restyled and be responsible for an annual report of her funds. Being a POA doesn't matter. The Social Security Administration does not recognize POAs.

She has trouble getting around, has mild dementia, and I don't want to put her through the hassle of sitting for possibly a long wait at a SS office. But I have concerns about making changes to her banking and the repercussions of being her Representative Payee.

I'd like to hear from anyone with experience as a Representative Payee, or a legal expert in this matter. What are possible problems, concerns, that might result from making the change? Some concerns are possible disruptions in Social Security payments and her direct deposits from other sources, and my legal responsibilities as a her Rep Payee.

Thanks.

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Yes, the Social Security office did say the process had to be done in writing. As to whether I'm required to be the Rep Payee if I'm not changing anything other than her address,and if the address problem is resolved, is a good question.

Thanks, Sunnygirl. Anybody else out there have any experience with this?
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I was told that Social Security has to approve you to be the Representative Payee in writing. After that is done, you may have to produce regular documentation of the spending of the funds for the recipient, though, I don't know if that is annual or not.

And they will not discuss anything about her funds or case, if you are not designated in writing with their office.

I'm not sure if you still intend to do it or just change her address, according to your last post, but IMO, it was my understanding based on everything that I read about Social Security is that if you are going to handle the bank account, that has direct deposit of their SS funds, you must be her Beneficiary Payee. That's my understanding and what they led me to believe.
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You are so welcome. Glad to read it was so easy to take care of.
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OMG! Brilliant! No, I don't have one set up for her. Done. It was easy. Thank you so much!
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Do you have an online account set up for your MIL with SS? You can change the address online without all the hassle. If she doesn't have an account, it is fairly simple to set up if you have all her information. Just go to www.ssa.gov/ and choose to create an account. There will be some verification that may be a bit delayed because of the holidays. After that you can change her address.
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