Does your spouse have a significant medical impairment? If so, he or she may be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. However, your spouse may not be in a physical or mental position to fill out an SSDI application on their own. This raises an important question: Am I allowed to apply for SSDI benefits on behalf of my spouse? The short answer is ‘yes’—at least as long as certain criteria are met. In this article, you will find a more detailed overview of the key things to know about applying for SSDI benefits on behalf of your spouse.
What to Know About Applying for Social Security Benefits for a Spouse
Helping your husband or wife with the SSDI claim can be confusing. The good news is that you have a lot of options available to help them work through the process. Here are three things to know about filing for SSDI benefits on behalf of a spouse:
- You Can Always Help You Spouse With the SSDI Application: If your spouse is working on filling out an SSDI application but needs some assistance on account of the medical impairment, you have the right to help them look for information, gather paperwork and fill out all of the necessary forms. The SSDI application is not a test—your disabled spouse does not have to do everything alone.
- If Able, Your Spouse Should Sign: All adults who are legally competent should sign their own name on SSDI application. A competent adult will then generally receive benefits in their name if their application is approved. Even if you or your Social Security disability attorney does most of the legwork on the SSDI application, your spouse should still sign if physically and mentally capable.
- You Can Act on Behalf of a Spouse Who Cannot Lawfully Sign: If your spouse has a severe medical impairment, he or she may not be able to sign any documents or accept payments. You may be in a position where you have to handle their financial affairs. Under federal regulations, a spouse—or other trusted loved one—can be appointed as ‘representative payee’. In effect, a representative payee is a trusted individual who is in charge of managing the SSDI application and SSDI benefits of a person who cannot manage their own affairs. To become a representative payee for a spouse, you should complete and submit Form SSA-1696-U4 (Appointment of Representative).
Never Filed for SSDI Benefits? A Social Security Disability Attorney Can Help
The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims process can be challenging. For those filing for benefits for the very first time, it is normal to be confused or even overwhelmed by the requirements of submitting an application. If you need help filing your claim for Social Security disability benefits, you should not hesitate to reach out to an experienced Social Security disability attorney. An experienced SSDI lawyer will be able to answer your questions, explain the process, and help file an SSDI application on behalf of your spouse.