Does the paperwork go to the Social Security Office after I have made a copy for my records? I was thinking I should open a bank account so that I could have my checks sent as direct deposit into my bank account.
Estate Planning Attorney
The Social Security Administration maintains an overview webpage for beneficiaries like you who have questions about Representative Payees:
The SSA webpage notes:
"You have the right to receive your own Social Security check unless SSA believes you are not capable of managing or directing the management of your money.
If you have a representative payee because of a physical or a mental disability, in order to become your own payee, you must show SSA that you are now mentally and physically able to handle your money yourself. You could provide:
A doctor's statement that there has been a change in your condition and that the doctor believes you are able to care for yourself; or
An official copy of a court order saying that the court believes that you can take care of yourself; or
Other evidence that shows your ability to take care of yourself.
Note: If SSA believes your condition has improved to the point that you no longer need a payee, we may reevaluate your eligibility for disability payments."
1. If you don't know already, find out why you have a rep payee. In my experience, SSA is very quick to appoint a rep payee if they have doubts about a beneficiary's ability to manage his or her own money.
2. Talk to your local SSA office about what if anything you can do to receive your benefits without a rep payee. Know that your local SSA office has a duty to act in your best financial interest, and employees take that duty seriously.
3. Do your best to demonstrate to your local SSA office that you don't need a rep payee. This may take time, and there are no guarantees that you will succeed. If you originally sought a rep payee for yourself because you thought you were unable to manage your own money, that would make it extra difficult to now remove the rep payee. Good luck!