Minor Becomes Her Own Social Security Disability Payee

This is a follow-up from a minor receiving disability who inquired of LawRefs about changing the payee of her benefits. Thank you for taking the time to follow up as it is very helpful to our readers!

“Hi, I’m the person who posted about becoming my own payee for the Social Security check I get each month. I went to the bank and opened an account in my own name. (I am going to see if I can request that my dad cannot access it under ANY circumstances.) I tried to become my own payee over the phone while I was at the bank, and they said I could not do it. So the next day, I went straight to the Social Security Office in Battle Creek, Michigan. I told one of the women at the counter that I moved away from my dad’s, and that he was refusing to give me the check. They said the check is to SUPPORT ME, and if I am not living there, it is clearly not supporting me. So the woman at the counter called me to the back, and we went through paperwork so that I could have the checks either sent to my new address or directly deposited into the bank account I opened. This made me my own payee. I haven’t gotten the first check, but it should be directly deposited when the check is issued! They also said if I couldn’t become my own payee, another adult could become my payee and give me my checks.

Based upon this follow-up, consider doing the following if you want to become your own payee:

1) Open a bank account without your parent’s name on it. In the Battle Creek area, Monarch Community Bank was the only one that didn’t require the teen’s parent’s permission to open an account.
2) Go to the Social Security Office, and explain your situation, and request to become your own payee. Don’t forget to bring your account number, Social security card, proof of identity, and bank account number.
3) Consider a person to name as a payee (whom you trust to provide you your checks each month) in the event that they will not let you become your own. Plan for the future by taking action to lay the foundation for a future request to become your own payee.

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