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How do I stop having a payee? What are the necessary steps and paperwork that needs to be filled out.

San Diego, CA |

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.

Attorney Answers 1

Posted

The Social Security Administration maintains an overview webpage for beneficiaries like you who have questions about Representative Payees:

http://www.ssa.gov/payee/faqbene.htm

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."

In summary:
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!

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