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Disability Lawyer > Blog > Social Security Disability > What Is An Advance Designation For SSDI Beneficiaries?

What Is An Advance Designation For SSDI Beneficiaries?


Many people who are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (or SSDI benefits), have disabling illnesses that may eventually result in their inability to manage their own finances or to properly manage communications with the Social Security Agency (SSA) or any issues that may arise concerning disability benefits. For such parties, as well as for others who would simply like assistance managing their SSDI benefits, it is important to learn more about advance designation and how it works. Our experienced national Social Security disability lawyers can speak with you today about advance designation and how it may be beneficial for you.

What is Advance Designation? 

According to the Social Security Administration, advance designation is possible under the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018. It “allows you to choose an individual(s) you deem has genuine concern for your well-being to manage your benefits should the need arise.”

Who Can Advance Designate? 

If you are currently receiving SSDI benefits or expect to receive them in the future, you should understand who can advance designate. According to the SSA, “capable adults and emancipated minors, who are beneficiaries or claimants and who do not have a representative payee may advance designate.” The SSA also clarifies that you can advance designate at any point in time that you are receiving Social Security benefits, including SSDI benefits. You can also advance designate when you file your claim for SSDI benefits, or while your SSDI benefits claim is in any level of the claims process, including initial consideration, reconsideration, a hearing stage, or upon further appeal.

Who Should I Name As My Advance Designee? 

If you are considering an advance designation, you should make sure you choose a person that you trust and that you are certain has “genuine concern for your well-being,” as the Social Security Administration puts it. It must be a person, to be clear—it cannot be an organization or other entity—so you will need to select a person in your life to take on this role.

Should I Be Concerned That Naming an Advance Designee Suggests I Am Incompetent? 

You might be worried that naming a person to be an advance designee suggests that you cannot manage your SSDI benefits on your own or that you are incompetent and cannot manage your own affairs. Advance designation is a common process designed to help beneficiaries and is not indicative of a beneficiary’s own capabilities.

Advance Designation is Different from an Advance Directive 

It is possible that you might confuse the terms of advance designation and advance directive, and we just want to be clear: an advance designation involves naming a person to manage your SSDI benefits, while an advance directive can involve naming a person who makes decisions about your healthcare in the event you become incapacitated. You should not make the mistake of thinking you have named a health care power of attorney through an advance directive when you have named an advance designee, or vice versa.

Contact Our National Disability Benefits Lawyers 

Do you need assistance with advance designation or do you have questions about how it works? Our national disability benefit attorneys can assist you. Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Barszcz today for more information.



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