TN 73 (11-08)
GN 00204.013 Third Party Non-proper Applicant and Protective Filing
Effective on and after November 22, 2008, third parties, who are not proper applicants to sign a Title II application, may establish a protective filing date for another individual through a written statement clearly indicating that the claimant intends to file an application for Social Security benefits or that the third party intends to file an application for Social Security benefits on the claimant’s behalf. Criteria in GN 00204.010B.1. through GN 00204.010B.4. must also be met. There is no change in proper applicant policy for who may sign an application. See GN 00204.003 and SI 00601.012 for proper applicant policy.
B. Policy – third party non-proper applicants and protective filing
Third parties must show that there is a clear intent to file an application for benefits, and the third party may contact SSA or complete an application on the individual's behalf using any service delivery channel (i.e., mail, phone, fax, Internet or in-person) to establish a protective writing. The criteria in GN 00204.010B.1. through GN 00204.010B.4. must also be met.
The writing must also reasonably indicate an intent to file for benefits currently and not an intent to file at some future date; e.g., wishes to file at full retirement age which is beyond the Title II 4-month or Title XVI 1-month advance filing rules, see GN 00204.010.
C. Policy – written statement and intent to file by a third party non-proper applicant
The third party’s written statement must show that there is a clear intent to file an application for benefits in order to establish a protective writing for Title II benefits.
1. Intent to file is established
Effective on or after November 22, 2008, intent is established when:
A third party schedules an appointment to file an application for Social Security benefits;
A third party initiates or completes a Social Security benefit application; or
NOTE: A third party initiates an application for benefits when the third party first completes the Internet Claim (iClaim) Applicant Identification screens and receives the Application Number. To identify iClaims initiated and completed by third parties and for general iClaim policies and procedures, see GN 00204.055.
A written statement filed with us states that the third party “wants to file” for benefits on the claimant’s behalf or that the claimant “wants to file” an application for benefits or that the third party “wants to assist (the claimant) in filing” for benefits. See GN 00204.010B.1. through GN 00204.010B.4. for the basic elements of a protective writing.
NOTE: There is no change in policy related to leads and protective filing for auxiliaries and survivors named on a Title II application, see GN 00204.010C.
2. Intent to file is not established
Intent is not established unless one of the three bulleted items in GN 00204.013C.1. applies.
NOTE: A completed SSA-1696 form alone does not establish an intent to file based on the criteria established in the bulleted items.
D. Procedure – documenting a protective filing date when a third party non-proper applicant contacts SSA
Follow procedures in GN 00204.010H to document a protective writing when a third party contacts SSA to schedule an appointment to file for benefits on behalf of the claimant.
E. Procedure – protective filing documentation retention periods
Follow procedures in GN 00204.010G for the protective filing documentation retention period.
F. Procedure – protective writing closeout and third party non-proper applicants
A protective writing must be closed out or the filing protection will remain open indefinitely. Follow procedures in GN 00204.012 to dispose of a protective writing. Closeout notices are issued to the claimant or proper applicant. Protective writings established in iClaim by a third party are closed out by notices automatically mailed to the claimant, see GN 00204.055.