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Social Security information is confidential. You can't just call the Social Security Administration to ask if someone is drawing a Supplemental Security Income check. You'll need written consent from the beneficiary before you can receive any information about his benefits. Under certain circumstances, you can verify SSI or other benefits.
Beneficiaries can give the SSA written permission to disclose personal information with a third party. The consent must be in writing and can be revoked at any time. It must state the beneficiary's name, Social Security number and date of birth. It must be signed and dated by the individual. The written document must specifically state what information can be disclosed and to whom. If consent is given to discuss benefits with you, call the SSA or visit a local office. You'll need the beneficiary's full name and any other identifying information you may have for him.
If the beneficiary is incapacitated and hasn't given prior consent, it's still possible to receive benefit information. Even with power of attorney, the SSA won't discuss a beneficiary's Social Security payments unless you've been appointed a representative payee. A payee is a person or group that acts on behalf of the beneficiary to manage the payments. Not just anyone can become a payee. You'll need to complete an application, provide proof of relationship to the beneficiary, submit documentation proving your identity and undergo an in-person interview.
When a beneficiary passes away, family members are responsible for notifying the SSA. Even if you aren't sure of the person's benefit status, you can call the SSA or visit a local office to report the death. If the person was receiving benefits, you'll be asked to provide a certified copy of the death certificate.
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Jeannine Mancini, a Florida native, has been writing business and personal finance articles since 2003. Her articles have been published in the Florida Today and Orlando Sentinel. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida.