When you are named as the agent or attorney-in-fact by the Power of Attorney of a dear one you have the written permission from that individual to manage the financial decisions of that individual as long as he / she lives. This is a very important document that bestows a lot of power on you. The loved one puts full faith on you and entrusts you with the authority to deal with all his / her financial affairs and even other matters. Based on the way that this document is made as POA, you might have the powers to supervise the transactions – like requesting distributions from trusts, funding, dealing with tax matters with State etc. Find out whether an NC durable power of attorney form can let you manage the Social Security benefits of that individual.
It is not possible
No. And there are various reasons why it is not possible.
Power of attorney is not recognized by the Treasury Department does for the negotiation of any federal payment – and this includes SSI or Social Security checks. You can only manage the Social Security benefits of some other person, including that of a loved one, if the Social Security Administration appoints you as a representative payee.
A Representative Payee happens to be someone appointed by Social Security for the management of benefits for a person who cannot do it on his own. The appointed one could be:
- An individual, generally a close friend or a family member
- Some entity, like a social service agency, group home, hospital or nursing home
Almost at all times, a Representative Payee for set free durable power of attorney form is assigned for a legally incompetent adult, a disabled adult or a minor child. He / she is responsible for the management and reception of all the benefit payments, be it Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security.
Which Social Security Benefits Can Be Managed?
This could involve:
- Caring for payments of importance, such as medical care, household bills, shelter, foods etc. Funds may be used also for covering clothing and other personal requirements, and also entertainment.
- The deposition of any funds remaining from benefit payments to a bank account that bears interest of savings bonds. The beneficiary must own either of these completely, although the representative payee has to listed and named as a financial agent. It is legally impossible for a representative payee to mix payments from Social Security with his / her own money.
- Maintaining proper records of every payment that is obtained, as well as how the same payments were saved and / or used up.
- Proper reporting is important as well, as this should be generally done every year. Any associated changes should be informed to the Social Security Administration, such as events in life that could have an impact on the payment eligibility of the beneficiary or the payment delivery logistics – such as divorce, marriage, shifting to another place or death. Any change that may have an impact on the ability of the representative payee for fulfilling his duties should be duly informed.
In case you have to apply for being a representative payee for a dear one, you have to visit the Social Security office that lies closest to you, fill up Form SSA-11 and submit the necessary identification documents. If you need a form for power of attorney, you may download it online.