Social Security has released a new electronic protective filing date tool for those wishing to express an intent to file for SSI and other benefits. For those interested in filing for SSI, you can simply go to Social Security’s website and complete the form stating that you intend to file for SSI benefits. This “protects” your filing date, allowing those filing to use the date the form is sent into Social Security as the filing date for SSI. This is important as SSI benefits begin the month after you file an SSI application.  The form asks basic information such as name, date of birth, Social Security number, mailing address, phone number, and email address. After you complete the form online, a Social Security representative will schedule you an appointment to help you file for benefits.

Completing this form is not the same as submitting an application. However, it does protect the date that you filed. Social Security intends for a representative to reach out to the person wanting to file for SSI within 7 to 14 business days after receiving the electronic form. Social Security also directed its staff to prioritize people who indicated a “priority life circumstance” on the protective filing date tool, such as wounded warrior, 100% VA disability, homeless, terminal illness, sign language interpreter needed, or visual accommodation needed.