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As part of the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018, Advance Designation allows you to choose an individual(s) you deem has genuine concern for your well-being to manage your benefits should the need arise. The law requires Social Security to select the designated individual with certain policy exemptions.

Adults and emancipated minors, who are beneficiaries or claimants and who do not have a representative payee may advance designate.

If you are receiving benefits, you may advance designate at any time. If you have filed a claim for benefits, you may advance designate with the initial claim or while the claim is pending at the initial, reconsideration, hearing, or Appeals Council levels. Choose anyone you believe has genuine concern for your well-being. You may not designate an organization to be an advance designee.

Advance Designation is voluntary.

You may submit or change advance designations:


For more helpful information on Social Security, visit these posts:

Episode on the radio program, Ask The Experts, where I answer questions people have asked about retirement planning:  Planning for the Retirement Years: Social Security, Medicare and Long-Term Care

What do you need to know when you turn 65? Property Taxes, Medicare and Social Security When You Turn 65

Social Security and the Pandemic:  How Has Social Security Fared During the Pandemic?


Elder law attorney, Terry Garrett, is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is an Approved Guardianship Attorney. She assists people in elder law, estate and special needs planning, guardianship and settling estates. She graduated with honors from Cornell University. She was on the Dean’s List at Wharton Business School. She earned her J.D. at Columbia Law School, receiving the Parker Award and a Mellon Fellowship.

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