LawRefs Customized Legal Information
Attorney Renee C. Walsh

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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  1. My step dad has been using my SS benefit for over 3 years now. He threatened to put me out of my condo and put me in a retirement home. He gives me $50 every week out of $2,200. I am 47 and have gone to SS Office several times but they said nothing can be done unless my step dad decides to give me my benefit control back or he dies. Please help.

  2. Ok, so I know I probably won’t get any help from this as it is mostly just bias- but I’m 17 1/2 and my brother has been living with us for about two-ish years and he’s 23. He doesn’t try to get a job, he just numbs off my Social Security money. My mom doesn’t work either, not since she got the benefits. He’s doing basically nothing around the house to help. He thinks he’s deserving of everything – the living arrangements, all the food we get, everything. And he’s disgusting. He only showers once a year and that’s if he ever goes out. I’m not exaggerating either. He yells at us and my mom won’t do anything about it because I suspect with him being there, it gives her more food stamps.

    I’m sorry about that rant, but everything is just so frustratingly unfair, especially when he’s living off the money that is apparently just to support me because of my dad’s passing. He does things to purposefully annoy me like spit in my stuff, use up all my mouthwash (and he never brushes his teeth so I can’t imagine what I put my mouth on), and drinks from the bottle of all our milk and juice while staring at me. I know a lot of this is bias, but can’t I do anything to get him out? I don’t graduate until I’m 19, and mom’s never going to kick him out and he’s seriously making my life stressful. I hate his power at and I sorely hope I can do SOMETHING. I cannot live with that forever.

    • Dear Jessie:

      My reading of the situation is that no laws are being violated and until your mom kicks him out or you move out, you will have to find a positive way of coping.