A question about SSI Back Pay after being Approved

A previous commenter asked a question about her back pay. She stated the following: "I was fully approved for my SSI case and I was wondering when my back pay was supposed to start. Do they pay you a lump sum or installments for SSI."

As always, I'd like to point out that it's best to get an answer regarding payments from the social security office that's actually handling your case, because there may be specific variables or issues involved in your case that might have a significant impact on the answer.

However, here is a general answer to the question as it was stated:

If an individual is not entitled to receive SSI benefits once they become entitled to Title II (Social Security Disability) benefits, the entire SSI back payment is released to them when their SSI claim is processed.

However, if an individual is awarded SSI only, or is entitled to both programs, the rules are different. Then, SSI back pay is paid in installments. The individual will receive an installment which is equal to three months of SSI benefits when their claim is processed.

Beneficiaries are issued another three months worth of benefits at the six month mark. When they reach the one year mark, they receive all monies owed to them; and they have nine months to spend the money down to below the resource or asset limit for SSI.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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