TN 14 (03-05)
SI 00601.037 Closing Out Leads and Protective Filings
A. Policy — leads
A lead must be pursued promptly to avoid any potential loss of benefits. Leads are considered unproductive after all efforts to secure an application are exhausted. (See GN 00202.001 for the definition of a lead and GN 00202.020 through GN 00202.040 and SI 00601.037C. for processing leads.)
NOTE: See instructions in GN 00204.055E.3.c for claimants who answer “yes” to the intent to file for SSI question on the internet (iClaim) application.
B. Policy — protective filings
Protective filings must be closed out or the filing protection will remain open indefinitely.
1. Protective writings
The policy on closing out protective writings is in GN 00204.012. Also, see SI 00601.037B.3. for the policy on when to issue a closeout notice, GN 00203.016B.5. for protective filing closeout in iAppt and SI 00601.040 for the notice requirements.
2. Oral inquiries
An oral inquiry must be closed out by:
filing a valid application, or
issuing a closeout notice (see SI 00601.037B.3. for when to issue a closeout notice).
NOTE: Follow instructions in GN 00204.055E.3 for claimants who had an appointment scheduled to apply for disability and he or she subsequently completed an internet (iClaim) application stating he or she does not wish to file for SSI.
3. When to issue a closeout notice
A protective filing should be closed out by issuing a closeout notice when:
the inquirer does not wish to file, e.g., the application appointment is cancelled and the inquirer no longer wishes to file,
an oral inquiry occurs and the claimant does not wish to file (see SI 00601.040C.2. for the notice requirements),
the claimant dies after making a written statement or oral inquiry and a parent or spouse is potentially eligible for the underpayment (see SI 02101.003 for the policy on who may receive an SSI underpayment),
an oral inquiry or written statement of intent to file is received and you were unable to schedule an application appointment (see SI 00601.037D.5. for development steps before issuing the notice),
the original application appointment or first rescheduled appointment was missed or cancelled, the inquirer did not reschedule and you were unable to reschedule the appointment (see SI 00601.037D.5. for the development steps before issuing the notice),
The caller reschedules the appointment a second time,
CAUTION: The 800 Number System Worksheet screen retains only the last two appointment dates. Therefore, if there is a date in the prior date field, that date must be copied in remarks before rescheduling an appointment. Also, if the rescheduled appointment is field office (FO) initiated, the remarks field must contain that annotation after the appointment date since the policy in SI 00601.037B.3. applies only when the caller reschedules an appointment a second time.
teleclaim is taken and sent to the applicant for signature, or
a title II application is filed which serves as an oral inquiry about SSI and the claimant does not wish to file for title XVI benefits. See GN 00204.055E.3 or SI 00601.027B.2 regarding SSI protective filing closeout when an iClaim application is filed.
4. Document closeout
If a manual closeout notice must be issued for an established protective filing on the 800 Number System, the date the notice is issued must be entered in the REC field for the title XVI closeout issue on the Worksheet (MSOM APPTS 001.014 ).
NOTE: There is no need to keep a copy of the 800 Number System Worksheet as documentation of the protective filing date for applications taken in MSSICS because the protective filing date is propagated from the 800 Number System into the MSSICS application. If an automated SSA-L991 notice was issued, the date it was issued is also propagated to the MSSICS application.
If the claim is taken in MSSICS and an automated application cover notice is printed, the DW01 screen T16 CO issue REC field must be annotated with the date the closeout notice is issued. If a paper application is taken, the remarks section of the application must contain the annotation that an SSA-L305 or SSA-L8024 notice was issued and the date it was issued.
If a manual closeout notice must be issued to closeout the protective filing for someone named on the title XVI application, the MSSICS remarks field or paper application remarks field must be documented to show the name of the individual, the closeout notice issued and the date it was issued.
NOTE: Use the Document Processing System (DPS) or the 800 Number System to issue a SSA-L991. If the automated SSA-L991 is used, a copy of the notice is sent to ORS. DPS is the preferred vehicle for issuing manual protective filing closeout notices because DPS contains a check block for sending a copy of the notice to the Online Retrieval System (ORS) where it will be retained for 7 years.
If the title II application serves as an oral inquiry for SSI, see GN 00201.005E.2. and GN 00201.005F.2. for the documentation requirements.
The protective filing period for written statements and oral inquiries is 60 days after the date of the closeout notice. There are no provisions to extend this time period based on “good cause” for late filing or mail time when an application is returned to SSA through the United States mail.
If interim assistance reimbursement (IAR) is involved and closeout language is included on the IAR authorization form, the closeout period ends 60 days after the date the IAR authorization is signed at the State agency.
EXCEPTIONS: When the 60th day falls on a nonworkday, the protective filing period ends with the following workday.
In situations where a prior closeout notice was issued and an application is completed within the 60-day protective filing period but must be sent to the applicant for signature, the claims interviewer must explain to the applicant that if he/she returns the signed application within the first 60-day period, we will use the date he/she first contacted us as the filing date. If the application is received after this date, but within the second 60-day closeout period on the SSA-L305-U3 or the SSA-L8024-U3, we will use the second contact date as the filing date.
If an automated SSA-L991 is issued, the closeout date will be 74 days from the date of oral inquiry which allows about 14 days for the outside contractor's handling, printing and distribution of the notices. The claimant will receive the notice 60 days before the closeout date shown in the notice.
REMINDER: Interviewers should make every effort to reschedule an appointment within the protective filing period. If the next available appointment does not allow for processing a teleclaim, the interviewer should schedule an in-office appointment within the protective filing period. If it is not possible to do so, contact local FO management to facilitate an immediate claim or advise the claimant to visit the local FO without an appointment.
5. Earlier protective filing open
A protective filing should not be documented/closed out when an earlier protective filing date is open, i.e., no closeout notice was issued. The earlier protective filing date is controlling.
NOTE: You must create a new Worksheet on the 800 Number System when a subsequent oral inquiry occurs, a closeout notice was issued on an existing 800 Number System protective filing and the protective filing closeout period has not expired. Creating a new Worksheet will enable the system to control the disposition of the subsequent oral inquiry.
EXAMPLE: On 11/10, Mr. Thompson calls SSA's 800 number and inquires about SSI eligibility. The teleservice representative (TSR) documents the oral inquiry on the 800 Number System Worksheet and schedules an application appointment for 11/20. On 11/15, Ms. Jones calls the TSC to inquire about SSI benefits for her father, Mr. Thompson. Since Mr. Thompson's oral inquiry established an earlier protective filing date that had not yet been closed out, his oral inquiry is controlling. The TSR need not document Ms. Jones' oral inquiry. If Ms. Jones called the TSC after the closeout notice was issued, Ms. Jones' inquiry must be documented on a new 800 Number System Worksheet to prevent any possible loss of benefits should Mr. Thompson fail to file within the protective filing closeout period.
6. Sending forms when scheduling appointments
Depending on local procedures, once an application appointment is scheduled, forms other than the application may be sent to the applicant before the appointment, e.g., SSA-3368-BK, Disability Report. However, do not send a closeout notice at this time. See SI 00601.037B.3. for when to issue a closeout notice.
7. Application cover notice follow up copy
The follow-up copies of the application cover notices, SSA-L8024-U3 and SSA-L305-U3 are sent whenever the signed application is not returned within 15 days after the date of the notice. See SI 00601.040C.4. for the use and completion of these notices. Annotate the MSSICS remarks screen with the date the follow-up notice was issued. See SI 00601.040C.3. for additional documentation requirements.
NOTE: Do not revise the closeout date. The follow-up copy of the closeout notice must include the same closeout date as the original notice.
C. Procedure — lead closeout
See GN 00202.020 and SI 00601.037D.5. for the steps to take before disposing of unproductive leads.
D. Procedure — protective filing closeout
1. Protective writings
Schedule an appointment to take an application if the inquirer wishes to file. If you are unable to contact the claimant, follow SI 00601.037D.5.
2. Oral inquiries received in the national 800 number sites
a. Claimant appears eligible
If the claimant appears eligible and the inquirer wishes to file, make a claims referral to the FO and schedule an application appointment. If no appointment slot is available, refer the inquiry to the FO for appropriate action.
b. Claimant is clearly ineligible
If the claimant is clearly ineligible and the inquirer wishes to file, follow the abbreviated application (ABAP) instructions in TC 10005.050 of the Teleservice Center Operating Guide (TSCOG). Also, see SI 00602.001 through SI 00602.025 for the ABAP instructions and SI 00601.040 for the notice requirements when the application must be sent to the proper applicant for signature.
c. Inquirer does not wish to file
If the inquirer does not wish to file, issue an automated SSA-L991-U3 notice, which is available on the 800 Number System. The reason for ineligible that must be included in the notice is that the claimant does not wish to file. If multiple reasons for ineligibility exist, document them in the remarks section of the worksheet.
If it is not possible to use the automated version, issue a manually prepared SSA-L991 in the DPS or a preprinted version. When using these versions, multiple reasons for ineligibility can be included in the notice, however, one of the reasons must be that the individual does not wish to file. If a DPS version is used, send a copy of the notice to ORS. See SI 00601.035B.4. for the documentation requirements.
3. Oral inquiries received in FO
a. Service Representative (SR)
Claimant appears eligible
If the claimant appears eligible and the inquirer wishes to file, refer the inquirer to a claims representative (CR) for an application. If a CR is unavailable and the individual does not wish to wait, schedule an appointment.
Claimant is clearly ineligible
If the claimant is clearly ineligible and the inquirer wishes to file, take an ABAP. (See SI 00602.001 through SI 00602.025 for the instructions on completing ABAPs. See SI 00601.040 for the notice requirements when the application must be sent to the proper applicant for signature.)
Inquirer does not wish to file
If the inquirer does not wish to file, issue a closeout notice. (See SI 00601.040C.2. for the notice requirements and SI 00601.037B.4. for the documentation requirements
b. Claims Representative (CR)
Claimant appears eligible
If the claimant appears eligible, take an application. (See SI 00601.040C.5. for the notice requirements if the application must be sent to the proper applicant for signature.)
Claimant is clearly ineligible
If the claimant is clearly ineligible, take an ABAP. (See SI 00601.040C.5. for the notice requirements if the application must be sent to the proper applicant for signature.)
Inquirer does not wish to file
If the inquirer does not wish to file, issue a closeout notice. (See SI 00601.040C.2. for the notice requirements.)
NOTE: If the individual files a title II application but does not want to file for title XVI benefits, see GN 00201.005E.2. and GN 00201.005F.2. for documenting the claimant's intent to file.
4. FO action on 800 number claims referrals
For 800 Number claim referrals:
contact the inquirer on the appointment date to take an application, or
schedule an appointment to take an application as soon as possible.
5. Unable to schedule appointment
Follow these steps before disposing an unproductive lead per SI 00601.037C. or protective filing per SI 00601.037B.
Contact the potential proper applicant promptly to determine if he or she wishes to file.
If you reach the individual and an oral inquiry occurs, follow the procedures in SI 00601.037D.2. or SI 00601.037D.3.
If you are unable to reach the potential proper applicant by telephone, and have a mailing address, promptly send a call/come in letter (form SSA-2708).
If the call/come in letter is returned undeliverable, or you are unsuccessful in contacting or locating the potential proper applicant, dispose of the lead and document the steps taken per GN 00202.020H.