Can an illiterate spouse be a patient representative for social security?

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My father has Alzhemiers and has applied for SSI. He is 63yo currently on Cobra for his health care insurance. My Mother is unable to read or write in any language and refuses to accept the fact my father is ill. She was allowed to sign as his representative at the SS office. She does not drive, can not write or deposit checks and refuses to let me the daughter take over as the representative. My father knows he is ill and that he can not take care of her and himself as he did in the past. He has a Dx from his Neurologist and is currently receiving SDI. I am afraid my mother will throw away important papers, forms or information sent in the mail. Who is suppose to pay the morgage, groceries, utilities ect.. I am stuck! My mother is being very stubborn and refuses to accept my father's illness. She has always been very dependant on my father for everything. She has also been emotionally unstable my entire life ie.. OCD, fears being alone, strange rituals.. but she has never seen a provider so she is not Dx as mentally incompatent. She is making my father drive her to church everyday, even though his license was revoked. He got into an accident last week and she said " Oh it could have happened to anyone" I am at such a loss..please help!!!

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Expert Answer
17 helpful answers
1. If they could have a power of attorney prepared to have someone that the spouse would be comfortable having as their agent-in-fact (it could be another family member, but not a minor). This will also be key in the event that the literate spouse passes away and there would be someone to act on behalf of the illiterate spouse.

2. Utilize the services of an attorney. Although this may be expensive, the rights of both spouses would be protected and understood.

I hope this helps.

Take care and all the best,
Rosanne
Oh my. What a hard spot you are in. Father absolutely MUST NOT DRIVE! Poor dear. Someone who lives near them and goes to their church can drive Mom. If you tell the priest or pastor about the situation, perhaps the church can arrange something.

I think if I were in your place I would call the country's Social Services office, explain that my dad has Alz, my mom also has mental problems, and I'd like a visit from a social worker to figure out what kind of services might be available to them. You can explain your concerns about your mother's ability to take on the responsibilies of running the household.

I think that who is the representative for SS purposes is the least of your worries! Someone should have durable POA for Father, and that should not be someone who is slightly unbalanced and can't read or write, however much her heart may be in the right place.

First and foremost, get the car off of their property. There are no qualified drivers there -- there is no need for a car.
My father is illiterate and very recently found out his wife has written bad checks, taken out a Now Line on his home equity, put several credit cards in his name. As well as hid the mail for 10 yrs. Now I/daughter am helping to file for a divorce. The problem I'm having is. He is not incompitent or incapable by no means. He needs someone to read everything and explain everything and he can make his own decisions from there. Is there anyway I can place myself beside him without taking away his legal rights

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