Making decisions pertaining to Medicare or Social Security on behalf of someone else requires you to have more than standard power of attorney. Applying to become an Authorized Representative or a Representative Payee could be required if you wish to make decisions for a loved one that is mentally incapable.
Medicare and Social Security can be complex; however, we’re going to make it simple because handling someone else’s affairs can be difficult.
Power of Attorney Might Not Be Enough
Having a standard power of attorney over a loved one simply isn’t enough when it comes to Medicare or Social Security decisions.
Standard power of attorney will allow you to handle most of your loved one’s finances; however, it doesn’t allow you to make health care decisions. Making important healthcare decisions for a loved one can become a requirement when they become mentally incapable.
Completing the durable power of attorney forms for healthcare will allow you to make medical decisions for your loved one.
Sadly, these two documents won’t work when it pertains to the Medicare or Social Security programs. Additionally, each of these programs requires separate documentation.
Become the Decision-maker for a Medicare Beneficiary
The law requires Medicare beneficiaries to write a form giving permission for you to handle personal medical information.
If the beneficiary is no longer capable of giving consent, the personal representative can fill out an “Authorization to Disclose Personal Health Information” form.
When you complete this form, you should gain access to:
- Personal health information from healthcare providers
- Health plans, including Medicare
Information can typically come from receiving a paper copy, or by visiting an online portal. You should receive the information in a timely manner; however, it could take up to 30 days.
Become Power of Attorney for a Medicare Beneficiary on Social Security
If you’re looking to become the representative payee for someone on Social Security, you’ll need to prepare yourself for a visit to the Social Security office. When you arrive at the Social Security office, you’ll need to submit a letter from the beneficiary’s doctor that states the need for a representative payee.
In addition to the letter, you’ll need to have proof of identity. Your Social Security number is required, you should take your card to the meeting.
Payee applications are done face to face with Social Security, if you’re applying on behalf of an organization, you’ll need your employee identification number.
Becoming Power of Attorney
Meeting with a licensed attorney and discussing your options as well as what will work best for your loved one means you get the appropriate power of attorney forms.
Power of Attorney differences can be identifiable by where legal authority ends and begins.
- Durable Power of Attorney is when legal authority is granted when documents are signed. This stays in effect during principal life.
- Conventional Power of Attorney is granted to the agent when the principal signs the document and concludes when the principal is unfit.
- Springing Power of Attorney only occurs when the document is signed, and it stays in effect throughout the principal’s life.
Additionally, an attorney can notarize any required documents in your state. Each state has different requirements for the legal power of attorney.
When you have the forms signed and prepared you to need to:
- Send copies to Medicare, the insurance company, and any healthcare facilities
- Keep these forms in a safe place
- Legally representing a loved one requires specific forms. If you ever need an answer about a form, please contact Medicare
Top 4 Questions about Medicare, Social Security and Power of Attorney
Understandably, you have more questions. Taking over another person’s affairs can be challenging. Having all the information and tools you need will make the transition smoother
1. What is the Power of Attorney
A person with power of attorney has been granted authority to manage limited benefits for a certain individual. The power of attorney can’t negotiate federal payments such as Social Security or SSI checks.
So, if you need to handle affairs for someone unable to manage their own benefits, you’ll need to apply for Representative Payee.
2. Does a Representative Payee have limits
Unless you’re the guardian, you can’t sign a legal document for the beneficiary. A payee has no legal authority over pensions, earned income, or any income other than Social Security unless the payee has power of attorney or is considered a legal guardian.
3. Is Durable Power of Attorney Necessary for Medicare?
For legal purposes, having a durable power of attorney for the person you’re acting as a caregiver for, is beneficial.
Even a spouse can’t enroll in a Medicare plan without Durable Power of Attorney. If you wish to make healthcare decisions for another person, you’ll need to apply.
4. How do you obtain Durable Power of Attorney?
If you want Durable Power of Attorney, the person signing the document needs to have mental competency. It’s a good idea to have this conversation while the beneficiary is still able to express their wants.
Power of Attorney Might Not Be Enough
Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, power of attorney may not be enough. A durable power of attorney, or representative payee may be what you’re looking to become.
Pay attention to what specific tasks you need to handle, this will benefit you when looking for forms.
If you have any further questions, you need to contact a licensed insurance agent. Having someone in your corner will make the transition smooth.
We care about you as if you’re family. We can educate you on the forms you need as well as help your loved one find comprehensive Medicare coverage.
Call the number above today to speak with a licensed insurance broker in your state. Complete the online rate form to view rates in your area side by side.