Hi Daniel, with regard to your post:
"I am a SS beneficiary because of the death of my dad several years ago. ------ So sorry to hear that.
"I have just turned 18 but am still a senior in high school. My school has verified this. I am wanting to have my SS check rerouted to my new bank account tha t is just in my name. ------- That shouldn't be a problem.
"My mother (who was never married to my father) has been taking my money. ------ I think what you mean is that a minor, she was your Representative Payee - she was responsible for collecting your benefit and using it for your basic needs, such as rent/shelter/utilities/food/clothing/hobbies/extra curriculars, etc., and if any is left over (that would be rare, with costs of living these days), she would have to save it for you in a savings account or similar.
"I would like to get the last few months of it to help with buying a car. ------ OK.
"I no longer live with her and have not since August 17 of this year. ------- OK, then you need to hustle to the SSA and tell them this. Generally, only the custodian of you,that person providing for your day to day needs, is the RP, so when you moved out, if you were still a minor, it would likely have changed (if SSA was notified) to the new caretaker. But if you are 18 and otherwise capable, you can likely get it changed to YOU.
"She's been taking my money from my bank account that also had her name on it for several years. ----- As a minor, that would be appropriate - since that money is SUPPOSED to go to paying your basic needs, those noted above. But now, you can use it for what little time you have left to get it and pay your own rent, expenses, and if left over, certainly a down payment on a car, if you need.
"I now have my own account. What do I do to get this money into my account? Thank you. ***** *****e " ----- Daniel, you will want to fill out the SSA-11. Bring your photo ID, birth certificate to your local office, as well as your new banking information. This should get you changed. Now, if your mother has been spending the money since you moved out, NOT on your needs, then you can also ask if she can be charged with an overpayment and have to pay it back, so that those missing months can be paid to you as well. She may have it in the appropriate savings or not, but either way, if it has not been used or saved for you, she may be liable to pay it back.