Social Security disability claims can take months or even years to process. Because of this lengthy processing time, claimants who are awarded Social Security or SSI benefits for disability will also typically receive “back pay” for their disability claim. According to our Social Security lawyers, the amount of back pay a claimant will receive can depend on three factors: the date when they applied for benefits, the onset date for their disability, and how long they have waited.
Applicants for Social Security disability benefits can receive benefits going back to the date of their application. They may also be considered for retroactive benefits for the year prior to their application date. If you have a “protective filing date” that is earlier than the actual date when you filed your disability application, that date acts as if it were your application date, and your benefits can go back to that date.
Disability Onset Date
This is the most important factor when it comes to determining when a claimant’s disability starts. When you file, you will have to give a date for when you believe your disability began. This date is known as an alleged onset date (AOD).
When you are approved for benefits, the DDS disability examiner or judge will set an “established” onset date (EOD) that will serve as the official date for when your disability actually began. Our disability lawyers note this date is determined from your medical records and work history as well as your application.
5-Month Waiting Period
Social Security disability benefits also have a factor known as the five-month waiting period. Applicants who have been approved and given an official EOD will not be able to receive benefits for the five months after the EOD. For example, if your application date was 12 months after your EOD, you would be entitled to seven months of back pay benefits before the date of your application.
If you have questions about your potential for Social Security back pay, contact one of our lawyers in Athens, GA. We specialize in the nuances of Social Security disability hearings, and we can help you to fully understand your eligibility for disability back pay and other benefits.
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