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SSA -- Having a payee means I'm not authorized on my account
Posted: Tuesday, June 8, 2021 10:37 AM
Joined: 11/22/2019
Posts: 399

I did not realize that having my spouse listed as the payee for my benefits also meant that I was not authorized to do simple things, such as change my mailing address.

It isn't as if I I would get checks mailed to me... that is done automatically to an account I have no access too.  A requirement for SSDI when it was awarded many years ago.

It was frustrating when I phoned to change my mailing address since I could not do so online.

First, I went through the auto phone tree qualification.

Then I provided the same information for the in person SSA assistant.

Then, my spouse had to provide the same information for the in person SSA assistant.

I do understand the need for security and accuracy.

I was left feeling a bit like less of a person by the process, though.

I will recover.  Still.  

Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, June 8, 2021 3:55 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18513

Please don't say you feel like less than a person, KawKaw! You are a person who needs help.  Fortunately, you have a reliable, trustworthy person to provide help.  That is so much to be appreciative of.

One of the concepts in care that I read here recently is the role of the care provider in removing responsibility.  Your husband took over that responsibility so you would have one less thing to deal with and struggle with.  Another concept is to focus on what you can do, not on what you can't do.  What you are doing daily, keep on doing.  Don't frustrate yourself with things that can be avoided.  Life is already too short.  

IMO, it's very important to keep a positive mindset.  There is so much that is negative about living with dementia, and about our world in general.  I try not to look for the bad side.

How are you settling into your new home?  Are you getting out with your dogs?  Is your area opened up?  Here in CA, we're are going to open up next week, June 15.  


Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Tuesday, June 8, 2021 6:59 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 4460

I know what you mean as they did the same to mee and it sucks as they take away you  rights. One day I may change that but that’s at the bottom of my list.

Posted: Friday, June 11, 2021 12:42 PM
Joined: 9/2/2017
Posts: 12

Try not to feel sad. I too have my spouse as a payee and all authority is taken which feels like losing your dignity and respect. However, so many fraudulent things happen, too many people have payees who are family members who rip them off, change addresses as well. The check won't come in the mail but every attempt is made to ensure you and your needs are taken care of. In addition to necessities have her buy 2 movie tickets, take a gardening class together do dental work, etc. It is a pain in the groin but believe me it is all worth it to make sure noone changes your address to homeless.
Posted: Friday, June 11, 2021 7:44 PM
Joined: 4/22/2017
Posts: 335


I don't have a Rep Payee and was never required to have one. You do have the right to request that your rep payee be removed, although you may need to have a treating physician sign off on the request. I know you probably won't do this, but I wanted to make it clear to others that a rep payee is not automatically required simply because of your diagnosis.

Posted: Saturday, June 12, 2021 10:24 AM
Joined: 11/22/2019
Posts: 399

Thank you, all.
I recovered from the sensation of being somewhat "less than."
I do understand why I have a Payee.  It was assigned due to my disabling condition (2012) specifically.
I did not understand that a payee covered everything.  That was disconcerting.  My spouse has so much to do already.
It might have helped if the person on the phone was willing to talk to me about my SSDI account details instead of requiring I hand the phone over to my spouse.
It seemed extreme not to trust me to hear information about my account.
I have indeed moved on.  
We have still not entirely unpacked, but I am achieving a bit more every week.
The dogs are LOVING having a yard, and I am loving them having a yard.
It has gotten too hot to walk them far in the mornings, so I have a recumbent bicycle exercise machine with hand pedals included to get my daily exercise.
My FIL with dementia is doing okay.  Not great, not horrible.
I do have a positive outlook.  I am seeing the psychologist I have had for 15 or so years.  She is actually good with MCI issues and planning and much associated with it.  She helps to prevent me from pathologizing all of my difficulties.  Some are merely the human condition.  Imagine that!  hehehe
The birds are singing outside, the windows are open until 9am when the heat begins to intensify.
Be well, all!