20 CFR 416.351 - Deemed filing date in a case of misinformation.

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§ 416.351 Deemed filing date in a case of misinformation.
(a) General. You may have considered applying for SSI benefits for yourself or for another person, and you may have contacted us in writing, by telephone or in person to inquire about filing an application for these benefits. It is possible that in responding to your inquiry, we may have given you misinformation about your eligibility for such benefits, or the eligibility of the person on whose behalf you were considering applying for benefits, which caused you not to file an application at that time. If this happened, and later an application for such benefits is filed with us, we may establish an earlier filing date under this section.
Example 1:
Ms. Jones calls a Social Security office to inquire about filing an application for SSI benefits. During her conversation with an SSA employee, she tells the employee about her resources. The SSA employee tells Ms. Jones that because her countable resources are above the allowable limit, she would be ineligible for SSI benefits. The employee fails to consider certain resource exclusions under the SSI program which would have reduced Ms. Jones' countable resources below the allowable limit, making her eligible for benefits. Because Ms. Jones thought that she would be ineligible, she decides not to file an application for SSI benefits. Ms. Jones later reads about resource exclusions under the SSI program. She recontacts the Social Security office to file an SSI application, and alleges that she had been previously misinformed about her eligibility for SSI benefits. She files an application for SSI benefits, provides the information required under paragraph (f) of this section to show that an SSA employee provided misinformation, and requests a deemed filing date based upon her receipt of misinformation.
Example 2:
Mr. Adams resides in a State which provides State supplementary payments that are administered by SSA under the SSI program. He telephones a Social Security office and tells an SSA employee that he does not have enough income to live on and wants to file for SSI benefits. Mr. Adams states that his only income is his monthly Social Security benefit check. The SSA employee checks Mr. Adams' Social Security record and advises him that he is ineligible for SSI benefits based on the amount of his monthly Social Security benefit. The employee does not consider whether Mr. Adams would be eligible for State supplementary payments. Because Mr. Adams was told that he would not be eligible for benefits under the SSI program, he does not file an application. The employee does not make a record of Mr. Adams' oral inquiry or take any other action. A year later, Mr. Adams speaks to a neighbor who receives the same Social Security benefit amount that Mr. Adams does, but also receives payments under the SSI program. Thinking the law may have changed, Mr. Adams recontacts a Social Security office and learns from an SSA employee that he would be eligible for State supplementary payments under the SSI program and that he could have received these payments earlier had he filed an application. Mr. Adams explains that he did not file an application earlier because he was told by an SSA employee that he was not eligible for SSI benefits. Mr. Adams files an application for the benefits, provides the information required under paragraph (f) of this section to show that an SSA employee provided misinformation, and requests a deemed filing date based on the misinformation provided to him earlier.
(b) Deemed filing date of an application based on misinformation. Subject to the requirements and conditions in paragraphs (c) through (g) of this section, we may establish a deemed filing date of an application for SSI benefits under the following provisions.
(1)
(i) If we determine that you failed to apply for SSI benefits for yourself because we gave you misinformation about your eligibility for such benefits, we will deem an application for such benefits to have been filed with us on the later of—
(A) The date on which the misinformation was provided to you; or
(B) The date on which you met all of the requirements for eligibility for such benefits, other than the requirement of filing an application.
(ii) Before we may establish a deemed filing date of an application for benefits for you under paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section, you or a person described in § 416.315 must file an application for such benefits. If you die before an application for the benefits is filed with us, we will consider establishing a deemed filing date of an application for such benefits only if a person who would be qualified under § 416.542(b) to receive any benefits due you, or someone on his or her behalf, files an application for the benefits.
(2)
(i) If you had authority under § 416.315 to sign an application for benefits for another person, and we determine that you failed to apply for SSI benefits for that person because we gave you misinformation about that person's eligibility for such benefits, we will deem an application for such benefits to have been filed with us on the later of—
(A) The date on which the misinformation was provided to you; or
(B) The date on which the person met all of the requirements for eligibility for such benefits, other than the requirement of filing an application.
(ii) Before we may establish a deemed filing date of an application for benefits for the person under paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, you, such person, or another person described in § 416.315 must file an application for such benefits. If the person referred to in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section dies before an application for the benefits is filed with us, we will consider establishing a deemed filing date of an application for such benefits only if a person who would be qualified under § 416.542(b) to receive any benefits due the deceased person, or someone on his behalf, files an application for the benefits.
(c) Requirements concerning the misinformation. We apply the following requirements for purposes of paragraph (b) of this section.
(1) The misinformation must have been provided to you by one of our employees while he or she was acting in his or her official capacity as our employee. For purposes of this section, an employee includes an officer of SSA.
(2) Misinformation is information which we consider to be incorrect, misleading, or incomplete in view of the facts which you gave to the employee, or of which the employee was aware or should have been aware, regarding your particular circumstances, or the particular circumstances of the person referred to in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section. In addition, for us to find that the information you received was incomplete, the employee must have failed to provide you with the appropriate, additional information which he or she would be required to provide in carrying out his or her official duties.
(3) The misinformation may have been provided to you orally or in writing.
(4) The misinformation must have been provided to you in response to a specific request by you to us for information about your eligibility for benefits or the eligibility for benefits of the person referred to in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section for which you were considering filing an application.
(d) Evidence that misinformation was provided. We will consider the following evidence in making a determination under paragraph (b) of this section.
(1) Preferred evidence. Preferred evidence is written evidence which relates directly to your inquiry about your eligibility for benefits or the eligibility of another person and which shows that we gave you misinformation which caused you not to file an application. Preferred evidence includes, but is not limited to, the following—
(i) A notice, letter, or other document which was issued by us and addressed to you; or
(ii) Our record of your telephone call, letter, or in-person contact.
(2) Other evidence. In the absence of preferred evidence, we will consider other evidence, including your statements about the alleged misinformation, to determine whether we gave you misinformation which caused you not to file an application. We will not find that we gave you misinformation, however, based solely on your statements. Other evidence which you provide or which we obtain must support your statements. Evidence which we will consider includes, but is not limited to, the following—
(i) Your statements about the alleged misinformation, including statements about—
(A) The date and time of the alleged contact(s);
(B) How the contact was made, e.g., by telephone or in person;
(C) The reason(s) the contact was made;
(D) Who gave the misinformation; and
(E) The questions you asked and the facts you gave us, and the questions we asked and the information we gave you at the time of the contact;
(ii) Statements from others who were present when you were given the alleged misinformation, e.g., a neighbor who accompanied you to our office;
(iii) If you can identify the employee or the employee can recall your inquiry about benefits—
(A) Statements from the employee concerning the alleged contact, including statements about the questions you asked, the facts you gave, the questions the employee asked, and the information provided to you at the time of the alleged contact; and
(B) Our assessment of the likelihood that the employee provided the alleged misinformation;
(iv) An evaluation of the credibility and the validity of your allegations in conjunction with other relevant information; and
(v) Any other information regarding your alleged contact.
(e) Information which does not constitute satisfactory proof that misinformation was given. Certain kinds of information will not be considered satisfactory proof that we gave you misinformation which caused you not to file an application. Examples of such information include—
(1) General informational pamphlets that we issue to provide basic program information;
(2) The SSI Benefit Estimate Letter that is based on an individual's reported and projected income and is an estimate which can be requested at any time;
(3) General information which we review or prepare but which is disseminated by the media, e.g., radio, television, magazines, and newspapers; and
(4) Information provided by other governmental agencies, e.g., the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, State unemployment agencies, and State and local governments.
(f) Claim for benefits based on misinformation. You may make a claim for benefits based on misinformation at any time. Your claim must contain information that will enable us to determine if we did provide misinformation to you about your eligibility for SSI benefits, or the eligibility of a person on whose behalf you were considering applying for benefits, which caused you not to file an application for the benefits. Specifically, your claim must be in writing and it must explain what information was provided; how, when, and where it was provided and by whom; and why the information caused you not to file an application. If you give us this information, we will make a determination on such a claim for benefits if all of the following conditions are also met.
(1) An application for the benefits described in paragraph (b)(1)(i) or (b)(2)(i) of this section is filed with us by someone described in paragraph (b)(1)(ii) or (b)(2)(ii) of this section, as appropriate. The application must be filed after the alleged misinformation was provided. This application may be—
(i) An application on which we have made a previous final determination or decision awarding the benefits, but only if the claimant continues to be eligible for benefits (or again could be eligible for benefits) based on that application;
(ii) An application on which we have made a previous final determination or decision denying the benefits, but only if such determination or decision is reopened under § 416.1488; or
(iii) A new application on which we have not made a final determination or decision.
(2) The establishment of a deemed filing date of an application for benefits based on misinformation could result in the claimant becoming eligible for benefits or for additional benefits.
(3) We have not made a previous final determination or decision to which you were a party on a claim for benefits based on alleged misinformation involving the same facts and issues. This provision does not apply, however, if the final determination or decision may be reopened under § 416.1488.
(g) Effective date. This section applies only to misinformation which we provided on or after December 19, 1989. In addition, this section is effective only for benefits payable for months after December 1989.
[59 FR 44926, Aug. 31, 1994]

Title 20 published on 2014-04-01

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  • 2014-08-28; vol. 79 # 167 - Thursday, August 28, 2014
    1. 79 FR 51241 - Extension of the Expiration Date for State Disability Examiner Authority To Make Fully Favorable Quick Disability Determinations and Compassionate Allowances
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      SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
      Final rule.
      This final rule is effective August 28, 2014.
      20 CFR Parts 404 and 416

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Title 20 published on 2014-04-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 20 CFR 416 after this date.

  • 2014-08-28; vol. 79 # 167 - Thursday, August 28, 2014
    1. 79 FR 51241 - Extension of the Expiration Date for State Disability Examiner Authority To Make Fully Favorable Quick Disability Determinations and Compassionate Allowances
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
      Final rule.
      This final rule is effective August 28, 2014.
      20 CFR Parts 404 and 416