Am I Eligible for Social Security Disability Back Pay?

Social Security Back Pay Eligibility

If you applied for Social Security disability benefits and are waiting for a response, you may be eligible for back pay upon your application’s approval. Since the terms and conditions of this program can be confusing, let’s go over how it works:

What Exactly is Back Pay?

As you may be experiencing, when you apply for disability benefits it can take a significant amount of time to receive a decision on your claim. And while it’s good that applicants can appeal a denied claim, going through one or more appeals takes even more time.

It takes an average of three to six months to receive an initial response. If a denied claim is appealed, it can take over a year to go through the appeals process. Back pay is used to compensate applicants for the time they spent waiting for benefits.

Does Back Pay Apply to SSI or SSDI?

It applies to both. However, the back pay calculation is different for each program. For SSI, the date the application was filed is the farthest compensation can go back. For SSDI, compensation can go all the way back to the initial date of disability or one year prior to when the SSDI application is filed, whichever is more recent.

Commonly referred to as the AOD (alleged onset date), a judge or disability examiner will determine when an applicant’s disability first prevented them from working. For example, if you became disabled on March 15 but didn’t submit your application until June 15, your AOD would be three months earlier than your application date.

In addition to the AOD, a five-month waiting period is the other caveat to SSDI back pay. According to the Social Security Administration, this period ensures they don’t pay benefits for disabilities that aren’t long-term. Using the previous example, if your application was approved on December 15, you would be entitled to four months of back pay.

Is Back Pay Dispersed in Installments or as a Lump Sum?

For just SSDI, it’s paid in a single lump sum. For SSI or a combination of both programs, it will depend on the amount of back pay. Generally, if the amount is under approximately three thousand dollars, it’s paid as a lump sum. If it’s higher than that threshold, the total will be split into three installments and paid once every six months.

Whether you’ve submitted an application that was denied or you haven’t started the process yet, if you believe you’re eligible for Social Security disability benefits and the associated back pay, contact Attorney Ritacco online now to discuss your specific situation!