The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers the date that you submit your application for Social Security Disability benefits to be your Date of Filing. It is important that you understand that your Date of Filing is different from your Protected Filing Date. If you made your intent to file a disability claim known to the SSA before you actually filed your disability claim, that date is known as your Protected Filing Date. The Date of Filing is the date that you actually officially file your claim for disability benefits with the SSA.
Your Date of Filing plays an important role in your claim for Social Security Disability benefits for a number of reasons. If your Date of Filing occurs after coverage of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) has ended, you will not be awarded disability benefits from the SSA no matter how severe your disability may be. This is why it is important that you file your disability claim as soon as possible when suffering from a long-term or permanent disability.
Your Date of Filing is also important when applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. With SSI, your household income and assets will be taken into account. On the date of the filing, you must not have more than $2,000 in assets if filing individually or $3,000 in assets if you are married on your Date of Filing. When determining whether or not you are eligible for a back payment of SSI benefits, the SSA will look at the date of your benefit approval and the date you filed your claim for disability benefits.
If you are not certain that your disability will be a long-term or permanent disability, you should consider filing for a Protected Date of Filing, which is different from your actual Date of Filing. Your Protected Date of Filing notifies the SSA that you intend to file for Social Security Disability benefits in the future and protects your eligibility status at the time you file for this date. Doing so may entitle you to a higher amount of back pay, than if you had waited to file your claim for disability benefits with the SSA.