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Helping Someone Apply for SSDI

Sadly, a disabling condition can affect an individual so much that he or she can find it impossible to apply for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits on their own. This is especially true if the disabled person is going blind, has suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), or has lost function in their hands.

Are you the spouse, adult child, or a close friend of a disabled individual who is trying to help them apply for critical SSDI benefits? If so, the Social Security Administration (SSA) welcomes you and appreciates the fact that you’re trying to help your friend or family member obtain SSDI benefits.

The following individuals may help someone apply for SSDI benefits:

  • A spouse
  • A family member
  • An employer
  • A member of an advocacy group
  • An SSDI attorney

When you assist your friend in filling out an application, the SSA may ask for information about you, the person who completes the form, your relationship to the applicant, and the organization that you work for, where applicable.

If the disabled individual who you are helping will be available to sign the application once you complete it on their behalf, the SSA asks that you please answer the questions on the application as if you are the person answering them. Whenever the application says “you” or “your,” the SSA is referring to the applicant that you are helping.

Do I need to be an authorized representative?

No, it’s not necessary for you to be appointed as the disabled person’s representative in order for you to help him or her apply for disability benefits. However, if the person you are helping wants to officially name you as their representative to handle their business with the SSA, you will have to submit form SSA-1696-UR, Appointment of Representative, to the SSA.

Can I ‘sign’ on the applicant’s behalf?

If the person you are helping with the application is with you, or can easily be with you, and is capable of signing their own application, he or she is the one that has to sign it. From there, the application will be forwarded to the SSA so they can begin processing it.

What if the applicant is not with me, or not able to sign the application, what happens next? If your friend or family member cannot sign the application, the SSA will mail it to them so they can verify their signature.

Note: the SSA says that it’s important that the person you’re helping signs the application; you are not supposed to do it for them.

Need a Dallas Social Security Disability attorney? Contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC for the legal guidance you need!