TN 56 (12-23)

SI 00601.012 Proper Applicant


20 CFR 416.315 and 416.320

A. Policy

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 For examples of third parties,see GN 00204.003B.3.).

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 their own application before the 60-day protective filing period ends and a loss of benefits would result. (For determining the protective filing closeout period, see SI 00601.037B.)

EXAMPLE: As part of an outreach program, Lucie Brown, a social worker of a private agency, interviews Lindon Smith on the telephone and discovers that they are potentially eligible for SSI benefits. Lindon wishes to file for SSI. Lucie completes, signs and dates an outreach referral form which indicates Lindon'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

If the claimant is adjudged legally incompetent, follow the procedures in GN 00204.003C.1.

2. Applicant alleges adult claimant cannot understand

If the applicant alleges that the adult claimant cannot understand what filing means, follow the procedures in GN 00204.003C.3.

3. Adult claimant physically cannot sign

  1. a. 

    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.

  2. b. 

    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 their own application. If an RC is used, file it in the claims folder.

  3. c. 

    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 their 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 their behalf.

    EXAMPLE: Shalene Harris, the claimant, was staying with one of their children for a week so they could visit several doctors and could not get into a FO to file for SSI before their 60-day protective filing closeout period expired. Another child signed the application on their behalf to prevent a loss of benefits and sent it to the FO.

    NOTE: Shalene Harris must still submit a signed application on their own behalf since they are physically able to sign their 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 their 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.

  • Abate the invalid claim per GN 01010.475D.2 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.

C. References

To Link to this section - Use this URL:
SI 00601.012 - Proper Applicant - 12/28/2023
Batch run: 12/28/2023