Am I Entitled To Back-Pay For Any Months Before My Application?

Social Security disability allows for a retroactive payment of disability benefits for the twelve months prior to the application date provided you have been unable to work due to your condition. Therefore, you may also be entitled to substantial back pay benefits depending on how long your claim takes.

There are four factors that affect the disability back payment amounts:

  • The first factor that affects your Security back pay is your date of filing. The date of filing establishes any potential retroactive disability benefits payable if any are due. If you have not been able to perform substantial work activity for seventeen months or more prior to your filing date you may be entitled to twelve months retroactive disability benefits provided your medical evidence substantiates that you were disabled at that time. Even if you are not entitled to twelve months retroactive benefits, you still may eligible to receive some months of retroactive disability benefits depending upon when you stopped working prior to filing for disability.
  • The second factor in determining the amount of your Social Security disability back payment is your established date of onset. The date of onset is when Social Security determines you were not working at a substantial work level and your medical evidence supports a finding of disability. How does this affect your back payment? If you allege you have not been able to work for seventeen months due to your medical or mental impairment, but Social Security can only find medical evidence to support your allegation of disability the month that you filed, then your established onset date will be the date you filed your application. This means you have no back payment. This brings us to an important third factor.
  • The third factor is the Social Security disability five month waiting period. All Social Security disability beneficiaries have a five month waiting period that begins the month following the date of onset unless the date of onset is the first day of the month. It lasts for a full five months with entitlement to disability benefits beginning the six month.
  • The month of entitlement is the fourth factor and it is determined by the previous three factors. The fourth and most important factor that affects the amount of a disability beneficiary’s back payment amount is the month of entitlement. The month of entitlement is the first month you are eligible to receive a monthly monetary disability benefit. All disability back payment awards begin with the month of entitlement and end the month prior to the adjudication of your disability claim.

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