There are two instances under which you may want to receive your disability payments through a parent. One is if you are still a minor, in which case having your parents designated to receive your Social Security Disability benefits is the normal course of action. The other is if some circumstance or condition prevents you from being able to manage your own finances.
While you are not limited to naming your parents as your representative payee, a trusted parent is a logical choice to help you manage your Social Security Disability payments. Not only do they have a vested interest in making sure that you are taken care of, but they are likely to be the people least inconvenienced by taking care of your financial matters.
In order to qualify to serve as your representative payee, your parent must be approved by the Social Security Administration. This involves a background check to make sure that they have not previously misused anyone’s Social Security Disability benefits and that they have not committed any crimes against the SSA.
To appoint your parent as representative payee, go with them to the Social Security Administration Field Office nearest to you. If you are not sure where the nearest field office is, the SSA’s website can help you find it.
Your parent will need to bring photo identification and their Social Security card. They will need to agree to manage your Social Security Disability benefits in a way which meets your immediate needs. They will need to review and agree to the conditions the Social Security Administration sets forth regarding representative payees. Simply stated, your parent will need to agree to use your Social Security Disability benefits for your benefit.
In addition to receiving your Social Security Disability benefit money, your parent will have to accept responsibility to monitor your condition and report any changes to the Social Security Administration. In order to have your benefits payments made to you again, you will need to demonstrate that you are capable of managing your own finances. In some cases, this could cause your eligibility for Social Security Disability to be re-evaluated.
It is important to note that naming your parent as your representative payee does not lock you into that decision for life. Should you desire to name a different payee at a later time, you are allowed to do so in most situations. One notable exception is if it is believed that you are using or trying to use your Social Security Disability benefits money for drugs, alcohol, or illegal activities which could be harmful to you. In such cases, the Social Security Administration will choose who your representative payee will be.
When your parent is your representative payee, they will be accountable to the Social Security Administration for all Social Security Disability funds which are sent to you. She will be responsible for making sure that your bills are paid and that you have everything necessary to take care of your immediate needs. Additionally, unless there is a compelling reason why she shouldn’t (such as suspected substance abuse issues), she should make sure that you have some discretionary income. They do not need to approve of everything you do with your discretionary funds. They do, however, need to make sure that your actual needs are met before giving you cash from your Social Security disability benefits.