SSA may accept an application signed by a third party on behalf of a claimant if there
is good cause for the claimant not signing and a loss of benefits would result. See
GN 00204.003 for proper applicant policy, GN 00201.015 for attestation policy, GN 00204.010 for Title II protective filing policy and SI 00601.015 through SI 00601.025 for SSI protective filing policy. Whether or not the third party is the claimant's
representative, a proper applicant (GN 00204.003 and SI 00601.012) must sign the application.
Examples of third parties include, but are not limited to, members of a church, a
labor union representative, veterans' group, senior citizens' association, etc.
SSA may not disclose information about the claimant to a third party without the claimant's
written consent unless the third party is the claimant's appointed representative (see GN 03305.025 and GN 03910.001 through GN 03910.060).
In adjudicating a claim, when the accuracy of the information provided is questionable,
the FO should contact the claimant directly for clarification unless there is an appointed
representative (see GN 03910.050). An adjudicator may determine that it is appropriate to redevelop information previously
Following are examples of situations that may require re-contact with the claimant:
EXAMPLE 1: A third party assists with multiple claims for children in foster care. Foster care
payments are alleged. The FO should verify the amount and source (Title IV-B, Title
XX or Title IV-E) of alleged foster care payments in order to determine the amount
of countable income.
EXAMPLE 2: An adjudicator notices that a third party who assists numerous claimants often submits
a pre-printed SSA-795 (Statement of Claimant or Other Person) to declare the value
of In-Kind Support and Maintenance as a loan. Re-contact with the claimants is required
to verify the intent to repay the loan appropriate (SI 00835.480).