GN 00204: Applications
TN 84 (01-17)
A. Policy for filing date
1. Application filing date
The application filing date is the earlier of the:
date a valid application is received at one of the locations in GN 00204.006; or
NOTE: It is not permissible to use a date other than the receipt date or protective filing date as the application filing date in either the Title II or Title XVI programs. The Modernized Claims System (MCS) allows the protective filing date to show as the date of filing on the Master Beneficiary Record (MBR) to conform to Title II regulations. The request (REQ) date for the PROTFL issue on the Development Worksheet (DW01/02) must reflect the earliest possible protective filing date. When a protective filing date does not exist, the receipt date is the application filing date.
A Title XVI protective filing date is always material to eligibility. For information on using a Title XVI protective filing date as the filing date in all cases, see SI 00601.015B. For application filing date and attainment of age 18, see SI 00601.009C.4. The protective filing date functionality already exists in the Title XVI program, except in situations where the protective filing date or receipt date is prior to the date of attainment of age 65. For examples on using the correct application filing date, see GN 00204.007G in this section.
The protective filing date is the application filing date if the protective filing closeout period has not expired. For clarity, we use the term application date for both the Title II and Title XVI programs.
For instruction on Title II filing before entitlement, see GN 00204.007D in this section.
For instructions on how to make a filing date determination, see GN 00204.007E in this section.
For instructions on when the Title XVI age 65 system exception applies (which requires entering the application receipt date into Modernized Supplemental Security Income Claims System (MSSICS) rather than the protective filing date), see GN 00204.007F in this section.
2. Filing date based on misinformation
You may establish a filing date based on misinformation. For misinformation policy and procedures, see GN 00204.008.
3. Filing date based on deemed filing rules
You may establish a filing date based on the deemed filing rules. For detailed instructions on using a deemed filing date, see GN 00204.035C.4.
4. Incorrect application filing date
You must review an adjudicated application that contains an incorrect application filing date to determine if reopening is appropriate. For information on reopening a determination, see GN 04001.010.
B. Policy for the application receipt date
Follow these instructions in this subsection to determine the application receipt date:
1. Valid application taken and filed the same day
If a proper applicant files a valid application at one of the locations in GN 00204.006, the date of filing is the receipt date.
2. Valid application is hand-carried
If a proper applicant signs a valid application with a “wet” signature and it is hand-carried to one of the locations in GN 00204.006, the date it is hand delivered is the receipt date.
3. Valid application received via the United States (U.S.) mail
If we receive a valid application or protective writing through the U.S. mail, the postmark date is the receipt date if use of that date is more advantageous to the claimant than the actual receipt date. If the U.S. postmark date is missing or illegible, presume a receipt date 5 days before the actual receipt date. If evidence exists indicating that the applicant mailed the application less than 5 days before it is received, presume that the individual mailed the application on the date supported by the evidence. For example, if a claimant signed an application on 03/29/16 and we received it on 04/01/16, you can use 03/29/16 as the application receipt date if it is more advantageous to the claimant.
CAUTION: Be alert to instances where the claimant's protective filing period ended before we receive a signed application. In these instances, it is important to review the evidence, including the postmark date on the envelope, to determine the most advantageous application receipt date.
EXAMPLE 1: Postmark date establishes a more advantageous filing date
The claimant signs his retirement application on 11/28/15 and mails it the same day at his local U.S. post office. The field office (FO) receives the application on 12/03/15. The claimant's 6-month protective filing closeout period ended on 10/30/15. Since we received the signed application after the closeout period ended, the claims specialist (CS) reviews the application and envelope and determines that the postmark date of 11/28/15 establishes a more advantageous receipt date than the actual receipt date of 12/03/15. The CS uses the electronic evidence screen to document the 11/28/15 application receipt date and establishes 11/28/15 as the application filing date.
EXAMPLE 2: Postmark date does not result in a more advantageous filing date
The claimant signs his retirement application on 09/26/15 and mails it at his local U.S. post office on the same day. The FO receives the application on 09/28/15. The claimant's 6-month protective filing closeout period ended on 08/31/15. The CS reviews the application and envelope and determines that the postmark date of 09/26/15 does not result in a more advantageous filing date than 09/28/15, the actual receipt date. The CS establishes 09/28/15 as the application filing date.
4. Valid application completed via Internet
If we receive an electronically signed iClaim from a first party applicant, the application receipt date is the date the claimant submitted the iClaim, not the date we establish the application in MCS. The submission date is the complete date on the Internet Menu (IMNU). For more information about the Internet Menu, refer to MSOM INTERNETT2 001.003.
NOTE: If we receive a claimant-signed paper application summary from an Internet claim initiated by a third party, follow GN 00204.007B.3 in this section.
C. Documenting the receipt date
1. Applications in MCS and MSSICS
Enter the application receipt date directly in the REC field of the application issue on the DW01/02 screen. For the application receipt date policy, see GN 00204.007B.1 through GN 00204.007B.4 in this section.
2. Applications, iClaim application summaries, and protective writings received via the U.S. mail or hand carried to the field office
You must date stamp all applications, signed iClaim application summaries, claims forms, protective writings, documents, etc. on the day we actually receive the documentation. If a date stamp is not available, write the date on the document and initial it. For forms that do not contain a date stamp block, use the reverse side of the form to avoid stamping over an entry.
NOTE: Paper applications contain a date stamp block. The iClaim application summary does not have a date stamp block.
D. Policy for filing before entitlement or eligibility
1. Title II application
a. Retirement or survivor applications
You can take a retirement or survivor application and effectuate it as an allowance up to 4 months before:
The claimant meets all entitlement factors as long as the entitlement factors he or she will meet in the future month are based on events that will definitely happen (for example, insured status, or age attainment); or
The future month of election.
If the applicant insists on filing earlier, you must take the application and disallow it. For additional procedures on denying and disallowing applications for lack of insured status, see GN 01010.440.
b. Disability applications
You can take a disability application and adjudicate it as an allowance when the number holder (NH) does not meet insured status in the filing date month but will meet it in a future month within the same calendar year. However, you will not be able to effectuate it until he or she meets all factors of entitlement. For the disability factors of entitlement, see DI 10105.005B.
2. Title XVI application
For the policy on when a Title XVI application may be taken and effectuated as an allowance, see SI 00601.010B.3.
NOTE: For processing a child's application in the month he or she attains age 18 and deeming applies resulting in Title XVI ineligibility for the filing date month, see SI 00601.009.
E. Procedure for making a filing date determination
Review internal SSA records (e.g., office pending file, 800 Number System) for protective filing documentation that could establish the earliest application filing date. For documents that may serve to protect the filing date, see GN 00204.010.
If we receive the application after the protective filing period expires, use the next earliest protective filing date that has not expired. For information on protective filing closeout periods, see GN 00204.012.
If we cannot use a protective filing date, the receipt date is the application filing date. For establishing the receipt date, see GN 00204.007B in this section.
NOTE: For cases involving the reopening of a prior denied claim, the application receipt date is the reopening request date. The material file date (MFD) should be the same as the application receipt date. The protective filing date is the original protective filing date from the previously denied claim. Enter the file date change (FDC) code of “C” on the Decision Input (DECI) screen for Management Information (MI) purposes. The FDC code of “C” will excludes FO1 time, from the original application date through the date of the reopening request on the new DW01. However, using this code does not exclude this time from the mean overall time on the case.
F. Procedure for Title XVI age 65 systems limitation
1. Determining the application filing date when attainment of age 65 is involved
If the Title XVI protective filing date, receipt date, and attainment of age 65 fall within the same month, input the receipt date into the system as the application filing date, but only if the receipt date is later than the date of attainment of age 65. If the receipt date is prior to the date of attainment of age 65, input the date of age 65 attainment into the system as the application filing date.
REMINDER: An individual attains age 65 on the day before his or her birthday.
NOTE: Do not use this exclusion for age 18 applications. For application filing date and attainment of age 18, see SI 00601.009C.4.
2. Documenting the filing date in MSSICS
When you enter the receipt date or date of attainment of age 65 in MSSICS as the application filing date, annotate the Supplemental Security Record (SSR) remarks field with the claimant’s correct filing date.
3. Eligibility or entitlement based on Title XVI filing date
When the eligibility or entitlement for other benefits is based on the Title XVI filing date, check the MSSICS record or SSR for the applicant’s correct filing date (for example, the Title XVI application is an application for Title II benefits).
If a protective filing date exists and the protective filing period has not yet expired, the application filing date is the protective filing date. For documenting the claimant’s intent to file for Title II benefits, see GN 00201.005.
G. Examples of using the correct application filing date
1. Valid Title II and Title XVI disability applications filed in the field office (FO)
On 10/02/15, Ms. Williams walked into her local FO to apply for Title II and Title XVI disability benefits. She completed and filed her application that day. Her application filing date for both Title II and Title XVI benefits is 10/02/15, the date the FO received her valid applications.
2. Protective filing date established for Title II
Ms. Jones attained age 62 on 08/25/15. She called the 800 Number on 09/15/15 to file for benefits. She scheduled an in-office appointment for 10/15/15. She filed her application on that date. The protective filing date of 09/15/15 is Ms. Jones' application filing date.
3. Filing before entitlement to Title II
On 05/15/15, Ms. Johnson called the 800 Number to inquire about filing for retirement benefits. She turned 62 on 07/25/15. The teleservice representative (TSR) completed the appropriate 800 Number System screens to protect her filing date and scheduled an application appointment for 06/27/15. Since the application appointment was for a Title II only application, the 6-month protective filing closeout language was included in the appointment confirmation notice.
On 06/27/15, the CS completed the application and mailed it to Ms. Johnson along with the cover letter printed from MCS for a wet signature because Ms. Johnson insisted on signing the application with pen-and-ink. We received Ms. Johnson's signed application in the FO on 06/30/15. Since Ms. Johnson filed her application for retirement benefits within 4 months of meeting all factors of entitlement, we effectuated her application as an allowance with a future month of entitlement of August. We entered the 05/15/15 protective filing date into the system as Ms. Johnson's application filing date. In other words, we used the date Ms. Johnson called because she returned her signed application within the 6-month closeout period.
4. Age 65 systems limitation applies to Title XVI portion of concurrent Title II and Title XVI claim
Mr. Brown called the 800 Number on 10/03/15 to file for both Title II and Title XVI benefits. The TSR documented the protective filing date and scheduled the application appointment for 10/09/15. The CS completed the Title II and Title XVI interviews on 10/09/15 and Mr. Brown filed the applications on that date. Mr. Brown appeared eligible for Title XVI benefits effective with October. He attained age 65 on 10/15/15. Mr. Brown’s application filing date for Title II and Title XVI was 10/03/15; however, since the age 65 systems limitation applied, the CS entered 10/15/15 into the system as the Title XVI application filing date and entered the correct filing date of 10/03/15 in the remarks field of the Supplemental Security Record (SSR).
GN 00204.001 Valid Application,
GN 00204.008 Misinformation - Applications
GN 00204.010 Protective Filing
GN 00204.012 How to Close a Protective Writing
GN 00204.035 Deemed Filing
GN 01010.001 Adjudicative Policy and Standards (through)
GN 01010.800 Resolving Policy and Legal Issues in Adjudication
SI 00601.009 Application Effective Date
SI 00601.015 Protective Filing - General
SI 00601.020 Protective Filing - Written Statement
SI 00601.025 Protective Filing - Oral Inquiry
SI 00601.037 Closing Out Leads and Protective Filings
SI 00601.040 Protective Filing Closeout Notices