Brooklyn, NY asked in Social Security for New York

Q: How do we get our grandmother’s social security benefits back?

My grandma suddenly lost her social security benefits. We called SSA and we have general POA. They said they can’t speak to us or explain what happened. They need to speak to my grandma. She doesn’t speak English and she has Alzheimer’s. They said they don’t accept POA and can’t speak to anyone, but her. What are our options to get her benefits restored?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Susan Michele Schaefer
Susan Michele Schaefer
  • Social Security Disability Lawyer
  • Prattville, AL

A: How do you help your grandma with her Social Security issues since Social Security will not accept a Power of Attorney (POA)? Below are a options that you could do:

1. Request a telephone appointment with a Social Security representative and ask that they have an interpreter present (Social Security has interpreters available free of charge and they can interpret for your grandma). If your grandma can confirm that she wants you to speak for her, then you can proceed with addressing her lost Social Security benefits with a Social Security representative. (If the issue is not resolved in the call, you may need to have grandma appoint you as an authorized representative - see option 2).

2. Have grandma appoint you or a disability attorney to be an authorized representative to act on her behalf with Social Security by signing and submitting Form SSA-1696-U4 (Appointment of Representative). See, See also,

3. Request that Social Security appoint you as representative payee for your grandma. This option may be the best if grandma cannot make decisions about who she wants to help or represent her and she is unable to manage her own benefits. Be aware, that representative payees are responsible for keeping records of how the payments are spent or saved, and making all records available for review if requested by SSA.For more information, see

To better understand the situation, you can consult with a disability lawyer. Most offer a free initial consultation.

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