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Home » Glossary » Protective Filing Date

Definition of Protective Filing Date

Protective Filing Date is the date a Social Security Disability applicant notifies the Social Security Administration (SSA) of their plan to file for disability benefits. The protective filing date is essentially considered the "application date," even if it is earlier than the date the SSDI applicant completes the application, signs it and returns it to the SSA for their review.

Contact the SSA if you have questions about the protective filing date. Generally, the SSA must receive written notification, in the form of a signed statement, which states your intent to file for benefits. After you send the SSA the protective filing date statement you have six months to complete your SSDI application and two months to complete your SSI application.

Because of the millions of applications the Social Security Administration receives and the tendency for documents to get lost, the protective filing date statement should be copied and kept for your records. It is also recommended that you send the statement via certified mail with return receipt requested.

Claimants can use the protective filing date to ensure they file their Social Security Disability application prior to their date last insured, which is the last day they are insured for SSDI benefits. It can also allow them more time to finish their SSDI application, while also generating more retroactive benefits. Retroactive benefits can be paid up to 12 months prior to the claimant's protective filing date, less the five month waiting period.

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