Changing My Representative Payee or Be My Own Representative Payee

Asked over 2 years ago - Saginaw, MI

I'm on Social Security Disability and I currently live in Saginaw, Michigan but I'm trying to move into my own apartment in Winter Park, Florida. But my grandma has been appointed my Representative Payee by the Judge, so is their a way I can be my own Representative Payee? Because I don't have any family in Florida at all for the Judge to appoint as my new Representative Payee!

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Brian S Wayson

    Contributor Level 19

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    Answered . If you are 18 years of age or older you can request to be your own representative payee. Your rep payee does not need to be a family member.

    Your payee will be responsible for taking care of your benefits, and should be someone who cares about you and whom you trust to handle your money. You can get a payee in either of two ways: SSA can choose one for you or can you choose one. You can choose almost any adult, with the following exceptions:
    • You must not choose a person who provides a service to you for money (such as your doctor or your landlord) unless that person is a relative or is your legal guardian;
    • You must not choose a person who has previously misused anyone's Social Security benefits, and
    • You must not choose a person who has ever been found guilty of a crime against SSA.
    The person you choose must provide proof of identity and a Social Security card to SSA. The person should also go with you to any interviews you have with SSA, if possible.
    If you are unable to find a payee, SSA will give you a list of agencies that can serve as your payee. While you are reviewing the agencies on this list, SSA will keep paying your benefits directly to you while it determines whether or not you need a payee, unless SSA or a Court has found you incompetent or you have a drug or alcohol problem.

    CAN I CHANGE MY REPRESENTATIVE PAYEE?
    Yes, you can change your payee if you wish. If you decide to change your payee, you should notify SSA as soon as you make the decision. You will need to fill out an application form at your local Social Security office.
    The person you choose to replace your present payee must provide SSA with a letter indicating that he/she is willing to serve as your payee and must provide SSA with proof of his/her identity.
    Once you’ve sent the application form and the new payee has sent the letter to SSA, the change in payee should take effect in about a month. You and your new payee should each receive a written notice of this before any benefits are paid to the new payee.

    WHAT IF I DISAGREE WITH SSA’S DECISION?
    You have a right to appeal several of the SSA’s decisions:
    • You may appeal SSA's determination that you need a payee;
    • You may appeal SSA’s decision to select a given payee for you;
    • You may appeal SSA’s denial of the person that you have chosen to be your payee, or
    • You may appeal SSA’s denial of your request to change your payee.
    • You can also appeal SSA's failure to pay your benefits directly to you while it is investigating its
    decision that you need a payee or while you are following through on SSA's suggestions for a
    possible payee.

    You must file your appeal on the proper form no later than 60 days after the date noted on the SSA notice that you disagree with, UNLESS THE NOTICE STATES SOME OTHER TIME, such as 10 days or 30 days. You can get an appeal form at your local Social Security office.

    Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by Brian Scott Wayson as general information, not legal advice,... more
  2. Robert J. Ehrenberg

    Contributor Level 9

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    Answered . You cannot be your own representative payee if it was determined that you need a representative payee. A new payee would need to be located in Florida and a petition filed with the SSA, or your grandmother would continue that role from Michigan. You should contact the SSA if you have an alternative payee. However, depending on the nature of your disability, if you no longer require a representative payee, it may be you are no longer disabled.

  3. Clifford Michael Farrell

    Contributor Level 19

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    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If your helth issues involve mental health issues, there are some mental health clinics and programs that will agree to be a payee for you - after you are a patient. Contact SSA and see if they can help point you to possible representative payees in your new residence area.

    The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should... more

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