How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

The SSD, Social Security Disability Date of Application

People who apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) or SSI should do so as soon as it becomes apparent that their medical condition is beginning to have a negative impact on their work performance.

Why? Because the date you file an application will affect the amount of back pay that you are entitled to receive. Back pay is calculated as the difference between the onset date (when Social Security thinks your condition first became disabling) plus a five-month waiting period, and the date upon which you are actually approved for benefits.

Most people who file for SSD and SSI are entitled to receive some sort of back pay, because it typically takes months, or even years, to be approved for benefits. Only about 30% of all disability applications are approved, which means that the other 70% must wind their way through the time-consuming appeals process.

Upon approval, Social Security looks back on your medical history and determines how long you have been entitled to benefits before you were actually approved for them, and awards back pay to make up for benefits to which you were entitled to but did not receive while awaiting a final decision in your case.

People who file for SSD benefits are covered under title II of the Social Security Act, and might also be entitled to collect up to 12 months of retroactive benefits. (Those who file for SSI are covered under title 16, and are not entitled to retroactive benefits.) Retroactive benefits are different than back pay in that they cover the time that a claimant’s medical records indicate he was disabled, but had not yet filed a claim.

In other words, back pay covers the period from the time you file until the time you are approved. Retroactive benefits, available only to those who qualify for SSD, cover a period of up to a year before the claim was filed (assuming the application is approved).

The important thing for all applicants to remember is that Social Security cannot begin to consider a case until a disability application is filed. After you file, you begin to accrue back pay, an amount that depends on how long it takes for you to be approved for benefits.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

How far back will SSI disability pay?
Automatic Disability Conditions for Social Security and SSI
Should I have a lawyer working on my disability case?
How to apply for disability and where to apply
Filing an Application for Disability Benefits under SSD or SSI - Step by Step
Tips on how to file for disability
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
What happens after I file my disability claim with Social Security?
What happens after a Social Security Disability or SSI Claim has been taken and is Pending
If you get denied on a disability application do you have to file a new application?
How the Decision on a Disability Application or Appeal Under SSDI or SSI is Made
Social Security Disability Waiver of Overpayment
If you apply for disability in in Louisiana
Getting a Disability Lawyer in Louisiana

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

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?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.