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Notices from the Social Security Administration during the SSI/SSDI Application Process

The Social Security Administration (SSA) sends out automatic letters to applicants during the SSI/SSDI application process. To prevent unnecessary distress for applicants, we recommend letting applicants know that they may receive these notices shortly after applying.

Automatic SSA Notices

Protective Filing Date Closeout Notice

When an applicant or representative establishes a Protective Filing Date (PFD) by contacting SSA to indicate an intent to file, or initiating the Online Disability Benefit Application, they may receive a notice indicating an informal decision has been made and that the applicant is not eligible for SSI. 

  • Do not be alarmed! The letter is generated because the SSI application has not yet been filed.
  • As long as the SSI application is filed within 60 days of the PFD, the applicant’s benefits will be protected back to the PFD even though this letter was sent.
  • Stay in close contact with the SSA claims representative to ensure that all required forms are submitted and entered and that the application is forwarded to DDS for review.

Sample PFD Closeout Notice

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Denial Notice

SOAR providers are encouraged to assist applicants to apply for both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. SSA generally makes a non-medical decision on eligibility for both SSI and SSDI prior to forwarding the application to DDS for the medical decision. 
  • Many applicants without a sufficient work-history or relevant family coverage will be denied SSDI early on in the process.
  • A notice stating that the applicant does not qualify for disability benefits will come in the mail. Pay close attention to the header at the top of the notice.  The header should read “Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance.” The body of the letter will likely state “you have not worked long enough under Social Security.”
  • Even though the SSDI denial has already occurred, the SSI application is still in process! Follow up with DDS and make sure they have everything they need to make a medical decision on the pending SSI application.
  • To help prevent unnecessary distress, talk with the applicant about the possibility of receiving this notice shortly after applying.

Sample SSA SSDI Denial Letter