Jeri Fields: A representative payee for Social Security to consider before you may need one

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 28, 2021

The future is uncertain. Our Advance Designation program allows you to pre-select a trusted individual if a time comes when you need a representative payee to help manage your money. Advance Designation enables you to identify up to three people, in priority order, whom you would like to serve as your potential representative payee.

We recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of our Advanced Designation program. Since its launch in March 2020, more than one million eligible individuals have opted to participate.

You may choose an Advance Designation if you are capable of making your own decisions and are:

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• An adult or emancipated minor applying for benefits and do not have a representative payee.
• An adult or emancipated minor beneficiary/recipient and do not have a representative payee.

You can submit your Advance Designation information when you:

• File a claim for benefits online.
• Use the application available in your personal my Social Security account at
• Call us by telephone at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

In the event that you can no longer make your own decisions, you and your family will have peace of mind knowing you already chose someone you trust to manage your benefits.

We have updated our Frequently Asked Questions to answer any questions you may have about Advance Designation at under “Other Topics.” You may also find more information about representative payees on our blog at

Jeri Fields is the manager of the district Social Security office in Ironton.