Social Security Disability Definitions
Social Security Disability and SSI Overview
The Requirements for Disability
Social Security Disability and SSI Applications
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial
Social Security Disability and SSI Denials
Social Security Disability and SSI Appeals
Social Security Mental Disability Benefits
Disability Benefits offered through Social Security
Benefits through SSI disability
Disability Benefits for Children
Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify
Social Security Disability and Working
Winning your Disability Benefits
Social Security Disability Back Pay Benefits
Social Security Disability SSI Awards and Award Notices
Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney
Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions
What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?
Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
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How Far Back Can SSI Back Pay Be Paid?
Supplemental Security Insurance disability, or SSI as it is more commonly known, is a social assistance disability program that is administered by the Social Security Administration. And, like most social assistance programs potential, benefits are controlled by the date a person files for the assistance.
Social Security considers the date a person first contacted Social Security for a disability interview to be their protected date of filing. This is important because it generally takes a few days or even a few weeks to get an appointment to file for disability benefits.
SSI back pay can become a substantial amount simply because of the nature of the disability process. Once a person completes their disability application, their claim is sent to a state agency (DDS, or disability determination services) that is responsible for making disability decisions for Social Security. Most initial disability decisions take an average of 100 days for a decision to be made unless the person has:
A) a terminal illness
B) A condition that is considered a fast track for an approval (QDD or quick disability decision)
C) They have conditions that are on the compassionate allowance list.
Unfortunately, only about three percent of all disability cases are any of the above listed exceptions to the average disability case processing time.
If a personís initial disability claim is denied, they must file an appeal if they still wish to pursue their claim for SSI benefits. Social Security allows sixty-five total days from the date of the denial notice to receive an appeal. Once the appeal is completed, it is forwarded back to the state disability agency for a reconsideration of the initial denial.
Reconsideration appeals generally take an average of sixty days to receive a decision. If the reconsideration appeal is denied, the claimant can file a request for an administrative law judge hearing.
The wait time for an administrative law judge hearing is the longest of the disability claim processing levels. It can take months or even years for a person to be scheduled for a hearing before an administrative law judge. Social Security is working to shorten the wait time, but with record numbers of individuals appealing their disability claims to administrative law judges, it can still be a very long wait for a hearing.
If a person has to appeal their disability claim all the way to an administrative law judge hearing, they are realistically looking at an average of 18 months or more before they are approved for SSI disability benefits (provided they win their disability hearing).
However, even if it takes this amount of time to be approved for SSI disability benefits, Social Security will back pay a person to the date they first contacted Social Security for their disability claim.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria