SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Social Security Disability and SSI Questions and Answers
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
More questions about SSD and SSI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
What is the maximum back pay you can get for Social Security disability ?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Social Security has established no maximum disability benefit back pay amount for Social Security disability beneficiaries. It would be impossible to do so since so many factors influence possible disability benefit back payment amounts.
There are four factors that affect the disability back payment amounts for Social Security disability beneficiaries.
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 maybe 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 stop work 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.
Disability back payment amounts become significant when you have to go to an administrative law judge disability hearing. Social Security hearings offices have significant backlogs of administrative law judge hearings; sometimes it takes months or even years to get a disability hearing. No matter when your disability claim is approved, the date of entitlement determines how far back disability benefits must be paid. Social Security is routinely paying back payments that amount to thousands of dollars.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Social Security Disability Questions page