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As part of the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018, Advance Designation allows you to choose an individual(s) you deem has genuine concern for your well-being to manage your benefits should the need arise. The law requires Social Security to select the designated individual with certain policy exemptions.

Capable adults and emancipated minors, who are beneficiaries or claimants and who do not have a representative payee may advance designate.

If you are receiving benefits, you may advance designate at any time. If you have filed a claim for benefits, you may advance designate with the initial claim or while the claim is pending at the initial, reconsideration, hearing, or Appeals Council levels. Choose anyone you believe has genuine concern for your well-being. You may not designate an organization to be an advance designee. Advance Designation is voluntary.

You may submit or change advance designations:

  • Online using your personal my Social Security account.
  • By telephone at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).
  • In person by going to your local field office.
  • By mail using Form SSA-4547 – Advance Designation of Representative Payee.

NOTE: Advance Designation is NOT:

  • An indication of your capability to manage or direct the management of your benefits.
  • An indication of someone’s suitability to serve as a payee. (If you need a representative payee to assist with the management of your benefits, we will first consider your advance designees, but we must still fully evaluate them and determine their suitability at that time.)
  • An appointment of a representative payee.
  • Power of attorney. In addition, a person named in a power of attorney cannot advance designate on behalf of an incapable or capable beneficiary or claimant.

For more information, please see Advance Designation.

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