Q I have power of attorney for my elderly mother. Can I collect social security disability benefits on her behalf?
No. While power of attorney gives you the legal authority to transact certain business on behalf of another individual, it is not recognized by the Treasury Department and cannot grant you access to your loved one’s federal payments. It also does not usually make any mention of the individual’s capability to manage his own finances and does not typically grant the third party the ability to manage the individual's assets.
Although you may already have power of attorney or a joint bank account with the beneficiary, you still must be appointed as a representative payee by the Social Security Administration to receive funds and make purchases on his behalf.
It is important to note that becoming a representative payee restricts your control of your loved one’s finances to his Social Security funds. It does not grant legal authority over any other income or pensions other than Social Security, or give you the ability to sign legal documents (other than Social Security documents) on their behalf.
You Must Become a Representative Payee To Make Fiancial Choices for Someone Recieving SSD Benefits
In order to gain direct access to your loved one’s Social Security benefits, you will have to prove that he or she is unable to make financial decisions that affect his or her well-being. You must still officially apply to become a representative payee at the Social Security office, even if you are already recognized as a financial representative for your family member.
The legal team at Manfred F. Ricciardelli, Jr. would be happy to explain your legal options at no cost to you. Call us at (877) 360-0183 today for a FREE consultation with a New Jersey Social Security disability lawyer, or click the link above to download our FREE electronic book, What the Injured Worker Needs to Know: Your Workers Comp Guide.