Approved for SSI Disability, but I have not received back benefits yet

Hi, I recently was approved for need-based SSI disability. However, I was under the impression that I would receive back benefits from the date I was considered disabled. Nothing has happened regarding this, however, and I was wondering if they did away with back payments?

Thank you in advance,

Both SSI and SSD are handled by the Social Security Administration. And, in the most important respects, such as determining one's medical eligibility, the programs are identical. However, there are non-medical differences between the programs and this is one of them. For SSD, the payment of back benefits goes back to what is known as an EOD, or established onset of disability (there is also a 5 month waiting period but we won't get into that here). This is essentialy the date a person is considered disabled according to their medical evidence.

The established onset of disability date can be determined to be a date after the claim is filed, or, in a fully favorable claim, it can go back to the date of application (or, possibly, the first date of application if there are multiple claims). The EOD can even be set 12 months retroactive to the date of filing.

However, that is for a title II SSD, or Social Security Disability, claim. SSI, in this regard, is very different. Benefits cannot be paid back to any point preceding the actual date of application.

To recap, Social Security uses the date an SSI disability claim was filed rather than the date a person became disabled as the determining factor for any back payment of benefits (for more information: Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it).

Have you begun to receive your regular SSI disability benefits? If not, they may still be working on your claim. If you were represented, you can have your attorney or non-attorney representative check on this for you.

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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