TN 10 (09-01)
SI 00601.012 Proper Applicant
20 CFR 416.315 and 416.320
1. Applicant Is the Claimant
The proper applicant policy in GN 00204.003 applies to all supplemental security income (SSI) applications.
2. Applicant Is Not the Claimant
The policy in GN 00204.003 applies to all SSI applications. In addition, a third party is always a proper applicant for establishing an oral inquiry or written statement of intent to file SSI benefits because there is always a potential loss of benefits (see GN 00204.003B.3. for examples of third parties).
A third party may sign an application solely for the purpose of protecting the claimant's filing date if a protective filing does not already exist or the claimant is unable to sign his/her own application before the 60-day protective filing period ends and a loss of benefits would result. (See SI 00601.037B for determining the protective filing closeout period.)
EXAMPLE: As part of an outreach program, Ms. Brown, a social worker of a private agency, interviews Mr. Smith on the telephone and discovers that he is potentially eligible for SSI benefits. Mr. Smith wishes to file for SSI. Ms. Brown completes, signs and dates an outreach referral form which indicates Mr. Smith's intent to file for SSI benefits and hand delivers it to the local SSA field office (FO) that same day. Because of the potential loss of benefits involved, the referral form establishes a protective filing date for SSI benefits as of the date we receive the referral form.
B. Procedure -- Applicant is not the Claimant
1. Adult Claimant Adjudged Legally Incompetent
Follow the procedures in GN 00204.003C.1. if the claimant is adjudged legally incompetent.
2. Applicant Alleges Adult Claimant Cannot Understand
Follow the procedures in GN 00204.003C.3. if the applicant alleges that the adult claimant cannot understand what filing means.
3. Adult Claimant Physically Cannot Sign
Take an application signed by the third party to protect the claimant from a loss of benefits if the adult claimant physically cannot sign and the third party wishes to file.
Record on the Modernized Supplemental Security Income Claims System (MSSICS) DROC screen or on a Report of Contact (RC) the circumstances of the case, which make it impossible for the claimant to sign his/her own application. If a RC is used, file it in the claims folder.
Establish the third party as the proper applicant if the circumstances in SI 00601.012B.3.b. show good reason for the claimant not signing his/her own application (e.g., claimant suffered a stroke and is in the hospital).
NOTE: If SSA-827 forms are needed to process a disability claim, see DI 11005.056C.
4. Adult Claimant Physically Can Sign
a. Claimant Wishes To File
Obtain the claimant's signature on a supplemental SSA-8000-BK or SSA-8001-BK as appropriate if the claimant is physically able to sign, but could not do so on the day the third party signed on his/her behalf.
EXAMPLE: Shalene Harris, the claimant, was staying with her son for a week so she could visit several doctors and could not get into a FO to file for SSI before her 60-day protective filing closeout period expired. Her daughter signed the application on her behalf to prevent a loss of benefits and sent it to the FO.
NOTE: Shalene Harris must still submit a signed application on her own behalf since she is physically able to sign her own application.
Use the filing date of the first application (i.e., the application signed by the applicant, not the claimant) as the protective filing date when the claimant later signs his/her own application.
b. Claimant Does Not Wish To File
Send the improper applicant a SSA-L8165-U2 notice.
Close out the third party oral inquiry by sending a protective filing closeout notice to the claimant. (See SI 00601.035 for the protective filing closeout procedures and SI 00601.040 for the notice requirements including to whom the notice must be sent.) Place a copy of the notice in the claims folder.
Manually clear the improper claim from MSSICS or destroy the paper application and any protective filing documentation after the 90-day protective filing documentation retention period is met. Check to ensure that the SSR (if any) is terminated.