20 CFR § 416.340 - Use of date of written statement as application filing date.
We will use the date a written statement, such as a letter, an SSA questionnaire or some other writing, is received at a social security office, at another Federal or State office designated by us, or by a person we have authorized to receive applications for us as the filing date of an application for benefits, only if the use of that date will result in your eligibility for additional benefits. If the written statement is mailed, we will use the date the statement was mailed to us as shown by a United States postmark. If the postmark is unreadable or there is no postmark, we will use the date the statement is signed (if dated) or 5 days before the day we receive the written statement, whichever date is later, as the filing date of an application for benefits. In order for us to use your written statement to protect your filing date, the following requirements must be met:
(a) The written statement shows an intent to claim benefits for yourself or for another person.
(b) You, your spouse or a person who may sign an application for you signs the statement.
(c) An application form signed by you or by a person who may sign an application for you is filed with us within 60 days after the date of a notice we will send telling of the need to file an application. The notice will say that we will make an initial determination of eligibility for SSI benefits if an application form is filed within 60 days after the date of the notice. (We will send the notice to the claimant, or where he or she is a minor or incompetent, to the person who gave us the written statement.)
(1) The claimant is alive when the application is filed on a prescribed form, or
(2) If the claimant dies after the written statement is filed, the deceased claimant's surviving spouse or parent(s) who could be paid the claimant's benefits under § 416.542(b), or someone on behalf of the surviving spouse or parent(s) files an application form. If we learn that the claimant has died before the notice is sent or within 60 days after the notice but before an application form is filed, we will send a notice to such a survivor. The notice will say that we will make an initial determination of eligibility for SSI benefits only if an application form is filed on behalf of the deceased within 60 days after the date of the notice to the survivor.