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

How far back are Social Security Disability benefits awarded on an appeal?

If you file an initial claim for disability (an initial claim is simply another way of saying an application for disability) and your case is approved, then the following will occur. The disability examiner will, after reviewing your medical records, determine your EOD, or established date of onset. This date will be when, in the opinion of the social security administration, your state of disability is considered to have begun.

Does this established onset date truly determine how far back your disability benefits can be paid? Potentially. The issue can get confusing because there are fundamental differences between the Social Security Disability and SSI disability programs.

And there can also be significant differences between claim approvals that occur at the application level or reconsideration appeal level, and claim approvals at the disability hearing level.

Regarding the differences between SSD and SSI, we should point out that, in the case of SSI, benefits can be paid all the way back to the time that the disability application was filed.

In the case of SSD, benefits can also be paid all the back to the time that the claim was filed, but potentially twelve months retroactive to this date as well, assuming, of course, that the medical evidence will support a disability onset date that far back.

Differences between the hearing and the initial steps

Now, how can things occur differently at a disability hearing versus an initial claim or reconsideration appeal? To a great degree, things occur very much the same at the hearing level. As at the earlier levels of the system, both medical evidence and work activity will be used to determine if the claimant has the ability to return to their past work or perform some type of other work while earning a substantial and gainful income.

However, one of the great differences between hearings and the lower levels of the system is that administrative law judges who approve claims can decide to reopen prior denials...for those individuals who have had the misfortune of being denied on multiple and separate claims.

A reopening occurs if it is found that the medical evidence indicates that the claimant was actually disabled at the time that they were previously denied (i.e. they were improperly denied). And reopening an earlier case, of course, can pave the way for significantly larger awards of disability back pay.

Suffice it to say, back pay amounts can cover very long periods of time. And the longer a case goes on, such as when multiple appeals have been filed, the greater the amount of back pay that may be received. And this is why individuals who are filing for disability benefits should be very careful that they do the following:

1. When submitting a disability claim to the social security administration, be sure to indicate all known physical and mental impairments, when those impairments began, and when they became disabling to the extent that work activity was significantly affected, either reducing it or preventing it altogether.

2. Be sure to supply detailed information about your medical records and history of treatment. Many applicants for Social Security Disability and SSI realize that an awarding of benefits will be based on a determination that involves current medical records.

They may not, however, realize how important older medical records are for establishing "onset", which can determine how much back pay is awarded. And in cases where a claimant's DLI, or date last insured, is in the past (meaning that their coverage for title II Social Security Disability benefits is time-limited and finite), proving the existence of a disability as far back back as possible can not only affect a back payment calculation, but whether or not disability benefits will even be awarded.

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:

Chances of winning Social Security Disability
Should I get attorney representation for an upcoming disability hearing?
Should I get a lawyer for my disability case?
How far back are Social Security Disability benefits awarded on an appeal?
How long will it take to start getting disability benefits after an award notice?
Receiving a Social Security Disability Award Letter
The SSI Award Letter from Social Security
The Social Security Award Notice after Disability Benefits are Awarded
When Do You Get A Social Security Disability Award Letter And What Does It Say?
The Social Security Disability Five Month Waiting Period
Check Amount on Social Security Disability Award Letter
What conditions do they Award Disability Benefits for?
You Cannot get a Social Security Disability or SSI Award if you don't Provide SSA what they need
How Much Do You Get For Disability If You Are Awarded Benefits?
Does Your Last Job Determine If You Receive A Social Security or SSI Award?
Can Social Security Disability Benefits Be Awarded Quickly?
The Social Security Disability award notice process in North Carolina
How is Social Security Disability and SSI Awarded?

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?

Filing an application for disability, how do I apply

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.