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Filing for disability can seem like a stressful process. There’s heaps of paperwork to comb through and a mountain of legal terms to sort out during the process. Not to mention all of the time it takes for the actual claim to pend and be reviewed by an examiner. Often times people ask, “Can I file a disability application for someone else?” and more often than not the answer is, no. However, the SSA has a few ways in which you may qualify to do so in specific situations:
- Should a claimant be unable to file for their own application, it may warrant the use of a “proper applicant.” A proper applicant may be the potential claimant’s spouse, relative responsible for the claimant’s care and condition, or court-appointed agent.
- Should there be a legitimate physical inability that prohibits a claimant from signing the application themselves, a qualified third party may sing instead (see previously listed proper applicant examples). Examples of legitimate physical ailments that may prevent a claimant from signing themselves include but are not limited to: temporary blindness, extensive bandages, severe burns to the hands, paralysis, and coma.
- Mental incapacity may inhibit a claimant from fully understanding what filing for disability benefits mean. In such cases, a third-party applicant may apply on said claimant’s behalf. In some cases, the Social Security office will require a copy of the court order or proof of legal guardianship so be prepared to divulge such documents.
- Unavailability can occur occasionally and this may be a qualification that warrants filing for someone other than yourself. Often times this occurs when an individual is experiencing a family crisis or other such things that would render one incapacitated. This must be paired with a direct loss of benefits. If both can be proven, then any qualifying individual for said claimant may be eligible to file the application for them.
Regardless of which aspect you may qualify to file under, it’s important to consult an attorney before doing so. They can help you to articulate what legal documents you may need to provide so that when it comes time to make the claim you’re ready and can streamline the process as efficiently as possible.