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Legal Evidence of Incapability

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at ssa.gov.

1605. Legal Evidence of Incapability

If a court has found a beneficiary to be legally incompetent, a certified copy of the court order must be submitted to SSA. We assume that the beneficiary cannot manage funds if a recent court finding of incompetence is in effect or if a legal guardian has been appointed.

However, the appointment of a legal guardian alone doesn't necessarily mean the beneficiary is legally incompetent. The court order must specifically address the beneficiary's competency or must contain a statement regarding the individual's ability to handle his/her financial affairs.

If the legal finding of incompetence is more than one year old, court certification that the order is still in effect must be obtained. In addition, a court order restoring the beneficiary's rights is required.

Note: As used here, a "legal guardian" means a person who has been appointed or authorized by a court, or by law, to assume control of and responsibility for the beneficiary.

Last Revised: Jul. 14, 2005

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Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration