If your disability claim through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is approved, you will receive back pay in addition to your monthly benefits. In this article, we will discuss what back pay is, why you are entitled to it, and what to expect with the payment.
Back pay is the amount of money that you would have received if your claim had been approved immediately upon your filing date. As a result, the money that you receive in back pay covers the time in between the date that you filed your application and the date that you were approved for benefits. Social Security Administration (SSA) understands that the disability application process can be lengthy and that, just because it took them a long time to make a determination on your claim, it does not mean that you weren’t entitled to benefits the entire time.
When you file your application for disability benefits, you must provide an alleged onset date. The alleged onset date is the date on which you think your disability began. The established onset date is the date that SSA believes you became disabled, which may or may not align with the date that you put in your application based on their interpretation of the medical records that you provided.
If you qualify for SSDI benefits, you will not receive benefits for the first five full months after your onset date. The five-month waiting period does not apply, however, if you are eligible for SSDI benefits as the child of a disabled person or if your benefits stop and start again because you tried to return to work but could not sustain employment due to your disability.
As of 2011, you will need to have a bank account to receive payments from SSA, including your back pay. For SSDI back pay, you will receive the funds you are owed in one lump sum payment. For SSI back pay, on the other hand, you will receive your payment in increments.
Please note: SSA will default to the date of your application as the disability onset date. Therefore, if you became disabled long before you decided to apply, you may want to challenge SSA’s date. An experienced Social Security disability attorney can help to ensure that the established onset date is changed to the date you actually became disabled and not the date you filed your application.