Authorized Representative

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Social Security gives you the option to choose someone else to assist with business you have with Social Security. The person you choose is called an “authorized representative.” Social Security has a standard form to fill out to pick someone as a representative. It is often referred to as “the 1696.”



You have the choice to appoint your benefits specialist as an authorized representative.
If your benefits specialist is your authorized representative, they will:

  • Find out information about your benefits.
  • Find out what information Social Security has about your income, and other factors affecting your eligibility for benefits.
  • Have the ongoing ability to follow up with Social Security as your benefits and income change.

Your benefits specialist will not do the following things as your authorized representative.

  • Communicate with Social Security without your knowledge and understanding.
  • Report information directly to your record.
  • Be responsible for reporting changes and income to Social Security on your behalf.

You have the right to end the relationship at any time. Social Security has more information about authorized representation and the form here: Authorized Representative Form


When a benefits specialist is your authorized representative, they will receive many of the same notices and letters from Social Security that you do. This helps the benefits specialist know immediately of changes and updates.