Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

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SSDRC Disability Blog

Do you always get disability back payments from social security?

There are occasional cases in which a person may get approved for social security disability or SSI and not receive back payments. But typically this is not the case. In fact, it is probably safe to say that nearly everyone who files for disability will receive some amount of back pay. And, usually, in most cases they will receive thousands of dollars in back pay.

Why does nearly every applicant for disability benefits receive back pay? For two reasons. The first is that under the title II program (social security disability), an applicant may actually receive benefits for a retroactive period that can be as much as twelve months prior to the date of application. The second and more obvious reason is because the disability claim process tends to drag on for quite some time before an individual can hope to receive their benefits.

How does back pay work? We should discuss this from the standpoint of social security disability claims versus SSI claims.

Back pay and Social Security Disability

For social security disability, back pay will be payable back to the date of application, and, in some cases may be paid retroactively for up to twelve months prior to the date of application. What determines whether or not a claimant will qualify for retroactive social security benefits? It depends on the onset date for the claim.

When a person makes a claim to file for disability, they state an AOD, or alleged onset of disability. This is basically their opinion of when their disability began. When the claim has been processed and a decision has been made that results in an approval for disability, the case will have an EOD, or established date of onset. This is the social security administration's opinion of when the claimant's disability began, based on their review of the medical evidence.

The established onset date will greatly determine how much the claimant can receive in back pay benefits. However, there is yet another factor that must be taken into consideration. And that factor is the five month waiting period.

What is the five month waiting period? It basically refers to the fact that, even after the established onset date has been determined, social security will not pay benefits for the first five months that the claimant is considered to be disabled. After the five month waiting period has passed, the date of entitlement, also known as the month of entitlement, begins. It is from this point forward that a person who has been approved for social security disability may begin to receive their benefits.

It should be pointed out, however, that the term "five month waiting period" is potentially misleading. In most instances, by the time a case has actually been approved so much time will have gone by that the five month waiting period will have been served out.

Back pay and SSI Disability

For SSI disability back pay is a simpler matter. There is no potential period of retroactivity and there is no five month waiting period. When a claim for SSI disability has been approved, the claimant will be eligible to receive disability back pay payments back to the date of application of the SSI claim.

Additional Information:

What is the maximum back pay you can get for Social Security disability?

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

What is the maximum back pay you can get for Social Security disability?
What is Social Security Disability Back Pay?
How Far Back Can SSI Back Pay Be Paid?
When can I expect my first disability check and my back pay check?
How does back pay for Social Security disability work?
If I Am Determined Disabled, How Far Back Will Social Security Pay Benefits?
Does Social Security Hold Back The First five Months Of Back Pay?
Social Security Disability SSI - Retroactive Benefits Vs Back Pay Benefits
Do you always get disability back payments from social security?
Social Security Disability Lawyers and 25% Back Pay
How much can you receive in disability backpay in North Carolina?
Why do you receive a Social Security Disability benefit back payment?

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