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How Does Social Security Disability Back Pay Work?

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If you’ve suffered an injury on the job that will prevent you from working for an extended period of time, then you might be eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Receiving SSDI benefits may be an ideal solution for supporting yourself until your injuries have healed and you can return to work.

When applying for SSDI benefits, many people are unaware of the possibility of receiving back pay after having your application approved. Learn how far back you may be able to receive past SSDI payments and find out why you may need the help of a disability lawyer for your application.

The Date Your Disability Began

When the Social Security Administration (SSA) is reviewing your SSDI application, one of the primary issues they will examine is the day your disability began, also known as your ‘onset date’. Your onset date is the first day that your disability affected your ability to work. Whatever date the SSA accepts as your onset date is considered your established onset date (EOD).

To determine your EOD, the SSA considers a variety of factors. The first day where you were unable to perform your old job, could not perform a new job, it was determined your disability would last more than a year or result in your death and you’ve satisfied all SSDI requirements will be used as your EOD. If your EOD is before the date you applied for SSDI, then you will most likely be entitled to receive retroactive disability pay.

Understanding Waiting Periods

An important issue to understand when learning about receiving back disability pay is that the SSA doesn’t provide benefits the moment you are eligible. In fact, once your EOD is established, you are required to complete a five-month waiting period before you will be able to receive SSDI payments.

This waiting period must be five complete months. For example, if your EOD is determined to be January 15th, your five-month waiting period will not begin until February 1st. This would put July 1st as the first day you can receive disability payments.

There are certain exceptions to this waiting period. If you are receiving SSDI benefits because you are the child of a disabled person, then the waiting period will be waived. Additionally, if your SSDI payments stop for a period of time because your condition has improved but you suffer a second disability, you will not have to complete the waiting period before your payments restart.

Back Pay Limitations

Although the SSA does award retroactive pay to disability recipients, there are limits to how much pay you can receive. You will only be able to receive twelve months’ worth of retroactive pay. This does not include your five-month waiting period. If, for instance, your EOD is determined to be thirteen months before you applied for SSDI, you will only receive eight months of retroactive pay.

If you want to know how much back pay you may be entitled to, you should consider hiring a disability lawyer. A disability lawyer can make sure you receive your back payments and can help you fight an application denial.

Hire a Disability Lawyer

If you need help with your SSDI application, you need to hire a disability lawyer from Tormey & McConnell. The legal team at Tormey & McConnell understands how stressful it can be to deal with the SSA, and we’re here to help you in whatever way we can.

Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you receive retroactive SSDI payments.

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