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If You Are Helping Someone Apply for Benefits Online

If you are helping someone prepare an Internet Social Security Benefit Application, there are some things you should know:
  • You cannot electronically sign the application on behalf of the applicant. There are no exceptions to this rule. Only the person you are helping can electronically sign his or her Internet Social Security Benefit Application and attest to the accuracy of the information provided.

  • If the applicant wishes to appoint you as his or her official representative, the applicant must sign and submit a written statement appointing you to represent him or her in dealings with Social Security. Use a Form SSA-1696 (Appointment of Representative) for this purpose. Then, in the Summary/Remarks section of the Internet Social Security Benefit Application and/or Internet Disability Report, add:

    "A Form SSA-1696 (Appointment of Representative) is being forwarded to SSA on ____(date)_____."

NOTE: If you represent claimants, and want to be eligible to receive direct payment of fees, please review the new Registration Requirements for Representatives to Receive Direct Payment of Approved Fees and Forms 1099-MISC.


Disability Applications

The Internet Adult Disability and Work History Report - PRO (i3368PRO) provides separate instructions for professionals, representatives, and organizations assisting adults age 18 or older in applying for disability benefits.

Form SSA-827

We revised Form SSA-827 Get Adobe Reader (Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration (SSA)) to make it:
  • Comply with new health privacy standards;
  • Easier for claimants and medical professionals to understand and
  • Compatible with electronic communication.

Please do not use a Form SSA-827 printed earlier than 2-2003.


Appealing A Denied Disability Application

If a disability application is denied, the letter we send applicants explains the reason for the denial and how to request a review of our decision.

Depending on the reason, you may be able to help them request an appeal online. If the application is denied for:


Representative Payees

Social Security's Representative Payment Program provides financial management for the Social Security and SSI payments of our beneficiaries who are incapable of managing their Social Security or SSI payments.

Claimant Representatives

Our Representing Claimants website includes information on:



Our FOIA | Freedom of Information Act website includes the guidelines for obtaining records from the Social Security Administration under the Freedom of Information Act.

We also provide guidelines on obtaining genealogical information from our records.


Electronic Records Express

Electronic Records Express Electronic Records Express is an initiative by Social Security and state Disability Determination Services (DDS) to offer electronic options for submitting records related to disability claims.

If you have been asked for, or you want to submit, additional information concerning a client's claim for Social Security disability, consider an electronic option. The records you send electronically are automatically associated with the applicant’s unique disability claim folder.

Go to the Electronic Records Express website to learn more.

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Last reviewed or modified Wednesday May 28, 2008
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