Advance Designation – Connecticut Injury Lawyers
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Advance Designation

When someone applies for SSDI (including SSI), they struggle with a disability and work or financial situation. It can easily overwhelm someone to juggle a loss of income and a debilitating condition. If you are worried that you won’t be able to handle it on your own or will become unable to, you can designate up to three people to handle your case for you. This is a process called advanced designation, and the people you choose will be referred to as your advanced designees (or designees, for short). 

What is an Advanced Designation? 

When you apply for SSDI, you are likely doing it on your own. However, there are many reasons why you may have trouble doing so. Your disability could make it impossible to manage, or you cannot be accommodated to be able to do the process alone, or maybe you just can’t figure it out. In any case, you can appoint someone to manage your case for you and become a representative payee on your behalf. If you do so, you can choose up to three people for this position. Make sure they are people close to you and that you trust with your benefits and ability to access them in the future. 

Keep in mind that this is not permanent. You are not appointing someone to be your power of attorney. You should pick someone you trust to do this job, but it will not be hard to change it if something happens to you or whoever you choose. You can choose up to three people you trust to care for your case in your absence. 

Do I Need an Advanced Designee? 

Not everyone needs to set an advanced designee, especially if you have the energy and time to handle it yourself. It may not be a bad idea to have one assigned as a backup in an unforeseen emergency. Be sure that you choose someone who can take on the responsibility of your case and understands how important this job will be should something happen to you in the future. 

If your disability or life situation causes you to be unsure of your ability to manage your case alone, it would be wise to find someone to fulfill this role for you. If your disability will render you incapable of doing this work, find a trustworthy person to handle your case, even if they are not needed immediately. There is no timeline for assigning someone this role, as you can choose someone whenever you want throughout the period you receive benefits. 

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How Can I Update My Advanced Designation? 

Every year you are on SSDI, you will receive a letter informing you of your current designees. The letter will also remind you how to change or update the people you chose and the information you gave. To change your advance designee, open your My Social Security Account online or by contacting the SSA directly. Call them at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or visit your local SSA office. Whichever way you contact them, they will ask for the following information: 

  • The names of the person you are assigning 
  • Their phone numbers
  • Their relationship to you (optional) 

Keep the information for your designees updated in case the SSA needs to be able to contact them about your case. If you cannot manage your own case, the SSA will turn to your designee for any information they need. This person should harbor genuine concern for you and your case so you can feel comfortable leaving your benefits in their hands. 

Contact a Local Attorney For Help

Assigning an advanced designee can be important, depending on your specific situation with your case, health, and life in general. Choose only people you believe you will maintain contact with and will take your case seriously. Family and friends you have had for a long time will be good candidates. If you are having trouble with your application or case and need more help than a designee can offer, contact a local attorney. We are available to help anytime. Just give us a call!


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