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When a person entitled to receive Social Security disability benefits is incapable of managing their own money, a representative payee is appointed. Most people who require a representative payee are able to choose the person who will serve in the role. The Social Security Administration, however, has final approval over the appointment. If the disability benefits recipient later wants to change the representative payee, a specific procedure must be followed.

How to Change Your Social Security Disability Representative Payee

Interested in learning more about changing your representative payee? The following is an overview of the steps to follow:

  • Consult with your attorney regarding your reasons for wanting to change payees and to obtain an overview of what the process entails, as well as the pros and cons of using a new payee.
  • Request a change of payee from your Social Security Administration field office.
  • Complete the necessary form pertaining to your request.
  • Provide an adequate reason for requesting the change. In some cases, you may be denied if your reason is insufficient. For example, if it is suspected that your reason for requesting the change is so that you can use your Social Security disability benefits to obtain illegal drugs, abuse alcohol, or for other illegal or harmful activities, the request will be denied. On the other hand, if your request is due to your current payee’s misuse of your Social Security disability benefits, your request will likely be approved.
  • Seek guidance from the Social Security Administration or your attorney if you have difficulty completing the form.
  • Bring your proposed new representative payee to the Social Security Administration field office so that he can verify identity and confirm that he is willing to assume the responsibilities associated with the role.

Moving forward, your disability checks will likely be sent directly to your new representative payee. In a small number of cases, however, the check will be sent to the old payee because the process of changing payees may take longer than a month.

Morgan Weisbrod  LLP

by Paul B. Burkhalter
Managing Partner of Morgan Weisbrod , Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.


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