When a Claimant Passes, The Claim May Still Continue
In most cases, if your loved one filed for disability before their death, their claim can still continue. In this situation, Social Security requires a process called a “Substitution of Party” (SOP).
How To Become Or Appoint an SOP
To become the SOP, you sign a simple form letting the Social Security Administration that know you wish to continue the claim for disability. You will be responsible for gathering medical evidence or other important information for the case. You will need a copy of the death certificate and special release forms to collect medical records. You may also need to give testimony to the judge about the claimant’s work, medical conditions, and limitations if the claim makes it to a hearing.
Ideally, the SOP is the nearest relative to the deceased claimant. This can be a spouse, child, parent, or sibling. It may be a guardian on behalf of a minor child. It can also be a more distant relative, or an executor of the individual’s estate. The best way to find out if you are eligible to be an SOP is to consult with an attorney or the Social Security office. Almost anyone can take on this role.
Where Do The Benefits Go In The Case of a SOP?
One thing to keep in mind: the SOP is not always the person who will actually get the claimant’s disability benefits if the case succeeds. Typically the benefits will go to the person or people who would inherit from the claimant. Most often this is children or a spouse, but it can also be parents, siblings, or other parties. In some cases, there is not an eligible party who can receive benefits, and the claim should not be continued. If you are unsure about whether you can receive the claimant’s benefits, speak with an attorney or talk to the Social Security office directly.
About Citizens Disability, LLC:
Since 2010, Citizens Disability has been America’s premier Social Security Disability institution. Our mission is to give a voice to the millions of Americans who are disabled and unable to work, helping them receive the Social Security Disability benefits to which they may be entitled.