Date of filing, protective filing date, or date of disability filing, is the date when you officially notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) that you intend to file and a claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. This date is important for many reasons and can affect the amount of backpay you receive. If you think you may be disabled for a long period of time, it’s a good idea to file a claim for disability benefits as soon as possible. This is because the SSDI application process can be lengthy, and the sooner you apply, the sooner you can begin receiving benefits if you are found disabled.
You can establish a protective filing date in a number of ways. First, you can send SSA a signed notification which declares you plan to file for disability benefits. Second, you can establish a protective date in person by simply walking into a Social Security office, or over the phone by calling SSA directly. Finally, you can file your application for benefits, which also serves as your protective filing date if you have not previously informed SSA that you intend to file a claim for benefits.