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When Your Application is Considered Filed

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

1507. When Your Application is Considered Filed

1507.1 When is your application for benefits generally considered filed?

We consider your application for benefits filed as of the day your application is received by:

  1. A Social Security office;

  2. Any other office we authorize to accept applications;

  3. A Social Security employee authorized to receive applications; or

  4. Any person designated by us to receive applications.

1507.2 Can a filing date other than the date of receipt be considered?

If we can establish an earlier filing date based on (A) - (E) below, we use that date as the application filing date instead of the receipt date:

  1. The U.S. postmark date on the envelope containing the protective writing or application, if that date is more favorable than the date of receipt by such office or employee. (Only a U.S. postmark is acceptable.);

  2. The date a written request for Social Security benefits is received;

  3. The date a systems record is made of a telephone contact requesting benefits, and use of this date results in eligibility for additional benefits;

  4. The date a written or verbal request for SSI benefits is received;

  5. For SSI benefits:

    The date an Interim Assistance Reimbursement (IAR) authorization form is signed at a State agency.

  6. For Social Security Benefits

    1. The date a U.S. Foreign Service post (or in the U.S. Veterans Affairs Regional Office, Manila) receives an application; or

    2. The date a social security agency of a foreign country with which the U.S. has a Social Security agreement (see §107) receives a written request for benefits.

Last Revised: Aug. 2, 2007

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