20 CFR § 408.305 - Why do you need to file an application to receive benefits?
In addition to meeting other requirements, you must file an application to become entitled to SVB. If you believe you may be entitled to SVB, you should file an application. Filing an application will -
(a) Permit us to make a formal decision on whether you qualify for SVB;
(c) Give you the right to appeal if you are dissatisfied with our determination.