Does Someone You Know Struggle Because of a Disability?

10 April 2018

Many people with disabilities cannot apply for assistance on their own. They may be too incapacitated, too young, or too unstable in their housing and financial situations to navigate a process that is designed to make securing benefits difficult.

Fortunately, laws allow individuals with close relationships to apply for disability benefits on behalf of the intended recipient. Applying in someone else’s name does add one or more degrees of difficulty, but working with a dedicated and experienced Columbus, Ohio, disability attorney can make clearing bureaucratic obstacles easier.

A partial list of who can apply for disability benefits for another person includes

  • Parents or legal guardians of a dependent child,
  • Spouses,
  • Adult children who act as caregivers for their parents, and
  • Individuals who have power of attorney for disabled adults

A relationship that allows one person to request disability benefits for someone else can be established in many ways. The parent-child relationship is easily understood, but adults can adopt other adults. Similarly, a spouse applying for workers’ compensation death benefits following a fatal workplace accident requires little explanation, but designating an adult child as the executor of the estate of the deceased worker can raise tough legal questions.

The exact rules for having a relative or legal representative apply for the disabled person can vary slightly from program to program. For instance, different types of documentation may be needed for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) than for a private long-term disability plan. Partnering with a disability lawyer while preparing an application for benefits will help ensure that all the required information is collected and submitted.

A final consideration is that each disability program places strict rules on how a designated recipient of payments can spend the money. In most cases, using benefits for any purpose other than supporting the disabled individual by paying the person’s medical bills and covering his or her living expenses will bring serious criminal penalties. Consulting with a knowledgeable disability lawyer will help a parent, spouse, or caregiver understand and comply with all the rules on accepting and handling benefits payments.

The Columbus, Ohio, disability attorneys with the Calig Law welcome opportunities to answer questions about workers’ comp, SSDI, and short- and long-term disability. Free consultations can be scheduled by calling (614) 252-2300 or filling out this online contact form. Do not let someone you know suffer from a disability just because they cannot request help on their own.


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