The first time you contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) regarding your intent to file a claim for Social Security Disability benefits, a disability protective filing date is established for you. This date can later be used as your date of application, even if you don’t make an official application at the time.
Why It's Important to Establish Your Disability Protective Filing Date
There are several reasons why you will want to establish your disability protective filing date as soon as possible following your disability. The main reason is that the disability protective filing date is used to determine your date of eligibility if your claim is approved.
In most cases, Social Security Disability recipients are entitled to back pay. The amount of back pay due is based on the disability protective filing date.
Another reason to consider filing a disability protective filing has to do with the time limits which are imposed when filing for Social Security Disability.
In order to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you need to file a disability claim, or at least state your intent to do so, within 17 months of the onset of your disability.
If you are not sure whether you will file for Social Security Disability benefits, but want to protect your right to do so, make a disability protective filing.
How You Can Make a Disability Protective Filing
There are several ways you can make a disability protective filing for Social Security Disability benefits. These include:
- Filing online: The SSA encourages applicants to file online when possible. The down side to this is that you won’t have personal contact with anyone who can field your questions. Request an inquiry from the Customer Info Control System to make certain that the disability protective filing date has been established.
- Filing in person: You may file in person at any Social Security local office.
- Filing over the telephone: You can establish a disability protective filing date by calling the SSA at 800-772-1213.
- Filing by mail: Send a letter stating your intent to file for Social Security Disability by registered mail to ensure that you have proof of the date you sent the letter.
Once you have established a disability protective filing date, that date is good for 6 months if you are filing for SSDI and 2 months if you are filing for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). After that, you must again contact the SSA to establish a new disability protective filing date.