When filing for Social Security disability benefits, there are several important dates to remember. One of those is the protective filing date. The date can have an influence on determining whether or not you are truly impaired and unable to work and how much you can receive in benefits. If you are planning to file for disability benefits, here is what you need to know about the protective filing date.
What Is the Protective Filing Date?
The protective filing date refers to the date that you first make contact with the Social Security Administration, or SSA, and inform the agency that you plan to file for benefits. The date is important because when the SSA starts to review your application for benefits, it will assess your disability or inability to work from that date.
It is also important because it helps to determine how much you can receive in retroactive benefits. The process to complete your application can take months. However, you can receive a lump sum payment that dates back to your protective filing date to the time you are approved for benefits.
How Is the Protective Filing Date Determined?
There are a couple of ways to establish a protective filing date. The first is to send written notice to the SSA that you plan to file for disability benefits. After you send notice, you must file within the six-month period following. If you do not, the date is no longer relevant and a new date will need to be established.
You can also establish a date by completing at least half of the online application for disability benefits. As with the written notification, you still must complete the actual filing within six months of finishing half of the application.
Once the SSA receives notice of your intent to file for benefits, you should receive written confirmation from the agency. If not, contact the SSA and request written confirmation. If there is a question in the future about the date, you can provide proof.
After confirmation is received, you can submit your application for benefits or work to collect evidence of your disability. Your attorney can help you determine what evidence is needed for the case and help you submit it by the deadline.
Consult with an attorney (such as Todd East Attorney at Law) experienced in Social Security disability to learn more about protective filing dates and other dates that might be important to your case.