Harry and Eleanor had been married for 23 years when Eleanor began to exhibit signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Her condition worsened until she was no longer able to work. However, she also was unable to complete the application for disability benefits by herself. Harry wanted to help his spouse apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, but he just was not sure that was allowed. He considered the following questions, did a little research on his own, and called the Social Security Office to get more information.
Is Your Spouse Eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits
Not everyone can qualify for this disability benefit. Applicants must meet these basic qualifications:
- Be unable to work because of a disabling condition; and
- Have earned enough work credits for your age and work history.
‘Disabling conditions’ have lasted for a year, are expected to last for a year, or are expected to result in death.
Also, keep in mind that SSDI benefits are not paid for short-term or partial disability.
If you are not sure that your spouse qualifies, talk to an experienced disability attorney. However, you may continue helping your spouse apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.
Yes, You Can Help Your Spouse
In fact, the Social Security Administration (SSA) regulations allow friends, relatives, attorneys, and others to apply on behalf of another person. However, individuals who decide to travel the application process alone should keep the following points in mind:
- You may have to answer some questions about yourself. The SSA may ask for information about you when you complete the application. For one thing, they may want to know your relationship to the person you are helping. That’s easy to answer and it makes sense.
- Don’t use your Social Security account to apply. Instead, the person you are helping will have to agree to the SSA’s Terms of Service Agreement and use their own personal mySocialSecurity.com account.
- Don’t sign the application. The person you are helping needs to sign the application.
The SSA provides a form to allow you to officially represent another person. Form SSA-1696-U4 is called the Appointment of Representative. Due to the complicated nature of completing and submitting government forms, it’s best to ask an attorney to assist.
Learn More About Applying for Disability Benefits
The application process can be long and frustrating, so you need someone on your side. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.