SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home1509. Written Statement Considered As Application

1509.1 When is a written statement used as the application filing date?

The receipt date of any written statement requesting benefits is used as the application filing date if the following requirements are met:

  1. The statement indicates an intention on the part of the writer to claim benefits, the lump-sum death payment, or to establish a period of disability. The expression of intent may be made orally;

  2. The statement is signed by the claimant or someone on his/her behalf, the claimant's spouse, or some other person who is authorized to file the application (see §1501);

  3. The application is completed on a prescribed application form (see §1510) and is filed by the claimant (or a person who is authorized to file an application for the claimant). The valid application must be filed within six months for Social Security benefits (or within 60 days for SSI) after the date we notify the claimant that a formal application is necessary; and

  4. For Social Security Benefits, either:

    1. The claimant is alive when the valid application is filed; or

    2. If the claimant died before filing the valid application, the form is filed by a person acting on behalf of the claimant's estate or by a survivor eligible for benefits on his or her earnings record. The valid application must be filed within six months after our notice that a formal application is necessary.

  5. For SSI Benefits:

    1. The claimant is alive when the valid application is filed; or

    2. If the claimant died before filing the valid application, the form is filed by a surviving living-with spouse or, in the case of a child, the child's living-with parent. The valid application must be filed within 60 days after our notice that a formal application is necessary.

1509.2 How are benefit rights protected for military service members who are missing in action?

Form DD-1300 (Report of Casualty) is prepared by a military service department, indicating a service member is missing. It is a written intent to claim benefits on behalf of the service member and all other persons eligible for benefits under the service member's Social Security record. This procedure serves, if the need arises, to protect the benefit rights of service members (and their dependents) missing in action. If an application is filed, we use the date the Form DD-1300 is prepared as the application filing date or if the form indicates that the service member was placed in MIA status earlier than the date the form is prepared, we will use the date the service member was placed in MIA status as the application filing date.

Last Revised: Aug. 2, 2007