Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) applications take a long time to process. If you apply for SSDI, you might have to wait weeks or months to get your first payment.
To cover any missed disability benefits, you can get back payments for the time between application and getting your first check. How far back you can receive benefits will depend on a few factors. You might get back pay for up to 12 months from your application date.
Let’s look at the essential details when determining back pay.
Waiting Period for SSDI Benefits
Social Security has a unique timeline that affects how far back it will pay you. First, there is a five-month waiting period.
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), you will receive your first benefit for the sixth full month after your disability begins. The exact date depends on your disability onset date.
Determining Established Onset Date
When you apply for SSDI benefits, the SSA will determine your established onset date (EOD). Your EOD is the date when you first became disabled. This date is vital because it helps conclude how far back SSDI will pay you.
The SSA will look at details like your last date of work and medical history to determine your EOD. If you feel like the SSA’s EOD for you is wrong, contact a Social Security Disability lawyer. You deserve to have the total back payments for your disability.
“Retroactive” Back Payments for SSDI
There are two ways that Social Security provides back payments.
The first back payments are for the time between when your disability started (your EOD) and when you applied for benefits. You can receive retroactive back payments for this time. However, your back pay will not include the five-month waiting period.
The second type of back payment is for the time between when you applied for benefits and when the SSA approved you for benefits. Since so many people applying for SSDI at once, it can take a while for your application to process. Unfortunately, delays between application and approval are prevalent.
SSDI Only Counts Full Months
It’s important to note that the SSA only uses full months to calculate benefits. This applies to the five-month waiting period and your first month of benefits.
If you apply for SSDI after the first of any month, that month will not count towards the total. The next month will count as the first full month. However, the month you apply will count if you apply on the first.
How Far Back Will SSDI Cover?
Minus the five-month waiting period, you should receive back payments for any delays. The maximum SSDI will provide in back payments is 12 months. Your disability would have to start 12 months before you applied to receive the maximum in SSDI benefits.
Let’s look at an example:
- You become disabled on February 1, 2019, and apply for SSDI benefits on April 1, 2019.
- You do not receive approval for benefits until February 1, 2020. The SSA lets you know your benefits will be $1,000 per month.
- Since you receive approval on the first of the month, your benefits begin February 1, 2020.
- There were 12 months between your disability and your approval for SSDI.
- Since there is a five-month waiting period, you would subtract that from the 12 months. You would be eligible for seven months of back payments totaling $7,000.
Keep in mind that if any of the above happens after the first of the month, the following month will count as the first full month.
How Can I Know My Total Back Pay for SSDI?
Calculating back payments can be complicated. Plus, many SSDI applicants struggled to get approval in the first place. It’s best to work with a Social Security Disability lawyer on your application.
At John Foy & Associates, we’ve helped countless SSDI applicants get the benefits they need. We can help you:
- Complete and file your application
- Determine your back payments
- Evaluate the EOD determined by the SSA
- Appeal a denial of benefits
- Fight for your right to benefits
To get a FREE consultation today, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online. We do not charge a fee unless we win your case.
How Does Social Security Send Back Payments?
The SSA will send any back pay or retroactive payments as a lump sum. You will generally receive the entire amount at one time. However, when you receive back payments might be different than when you get your monthly SSDI.
If you receive both SSI and SSDI, you’ll probably receive your benefits in installments. If you need funds immediately, you might be eligible for larger initial payments. An SSDI lawyer can help you know your options.
Talk to a Social Security Disability Lawyer for Free Today
John Foy & Associates has over 20 years of experience in helping those who need SSDI benefits. We know what the SSA is looking for to approve applications. We can help you with any aspect of your claim — including calculating back payments.
Contact us today for a FREE, no-risk consultation. We’ll discuss the details of your case and answer your questions. Plus, there is no charge unless we win your case for you.
To schedule your FREE consultation, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online today.