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SSA.Help4u.168, Accountant
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 3730
Experience:  Tax Accountant
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I have been helping my brother get through a divorce.

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I have been helping my brother get through a divorce. Ultimately, he will end up having to direct or assign a portion of his monthly Social Security to his wife. I am trying to act on his behalf (I have POA for this dissolution) because he has dementia. Can you assist me?
JA: The Retirement Accountant will know how to help. Is there anything else the Retirement Accountant should be aware of?
Customer: I don't think so, thanks.

Hello. Thank you for choosing this Q&A service for assistance. My name is Angela. I will be assisting you.

It sounds as if you would like to become your brother's representative payee. In order to do this you will need to contact the local social security office. The social security office will make the determination whether or not your brother needs a payee. Note that having power of attorney, being an authorized representative or having a joint bank account with the beneficiary is not the same thing as being a payee. These arrangements do not give legal authority to negotiate and manage a beneficiary's Social Security and/or SSI payments. In order to be a payee a person or organization must apply for and be appointed by SSA. Following is how the social security office selects a representative payee.


We try to select someone who knows you and wants to help you. Our main concern is that your payee is someone who can see you often and knows what you need. For that reason, if you live with someone who helps you, we usually select that person to be your payee. In most cases, someone who knows you asks us if he/she can be your payee. It may be a family member, a friend, a legal guardian or a lawyer. In some cases social service agencies, nursing homes or other organizations offer to serve as payees. If you know someone you would like to have as your payee, tell a Social Security representative and we will consider your wish.


Following is what a representative payee is supposed to do.

Your representative payee must use your benefits to pay for your needs. These could include payment for food, shelter, clothes, medical care and personal comfort items. Also, your representative payee must tell SSA of events that could change the amount of, or affect your right to receive, benefits.

If SSA asks, your representative payee must also give us a written account of how your money was spent. A payee must also tell SSA if there are changes that might affect his/her ability to act as your representative payee.


If the above information clarifies matters for you, I ask that you be so kind as to scroll to the top of the page and select 3 or more stars to positively rate my response so that I can receive credit for assisting you. A 5 star rating is most appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Customer: replied 25 days ago.
I just want to know how he needs to proceed

He needs to let the social security office know that he feels that he needs a representative payee. The social security will take necessary factors into consideration and decide whether he actually needs a payee or not.

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