Here’s one of the first things I’ve learned about elder affairs in the United States. Power of Attorney means nothing to the Social Security Administration. If you want to deal with Social Security on behalf of someone else, that someone else needs to file a form naming you as his/her appointed representative specifically for matters involving the SSA.
My mother and I have not yet done this, but it’s near the top of my to-do list. After having helped her get her automatic deposits transferred to her new bank account, I can see she needs someone else (me) to be able to just answer all of the questions. I want to make this official soon. Mom has a bad heart; she doesn’t need the stress of dealing with government bureaucracy.