You might think because you have “Power of Attorney” for your relative or loved one you will be able to conduct business for them with the Social Security Administration. The agency does not recognize “Power of Attorney” and this document will get you no information from Social Security about your relative or loved one.
Social Security does have a process for representation. The agency can designate you as the “Representative Payee” for this individual if you have good cause for becoming one. To do this you would need to take your “Power of Attorney” documents and photo identification to the local Social Security office and fill out the Representative Payee application. You don’t need “Power of Attorney” to become payee, just a good reason for doing so.
It takes the local Social Security office about 30 to 60 days to process the application. If your application is approved Social Security will send you a letter letting you know that you have been appointed as Representative Payee for the person in question. All correspondence while you are payee will be sent in your name for the beneficiary. Payment will also be issued in your name for the person you are Payee for. You are responsible for seeing that the Social Security check is spent in an appropriate manner.
All representative payees are required to document in an annual report how the money you are responsible for is being spent. Social Security will mail you an annual “Representative Payee Report” for this purpose. Being a representative payee is not a responsibility you should take lightly; if the person you are seeing is overpaid for example, you could be liable for paying back the overpayment.