Can I receive back pay if I am approved for disability because of my migraines?

Yes, you can receive back pay if you are approved for disability because of migraines.

Social Security Disability back pay benefits are not determined by your disabling condition. Back pay benefits are determined by two things: 1. the date you file your disability application, and 2. how long you have been out of work, or have worked but your earnings were under the limit for work activity, known as substantial gainful activity, or simply SGA.

Social Security will pay retroactive benefits for up to twelve months if you were not performing SGA for seventeen months prior to you application date. If you have been unable to work but have not been out of work seventeen months, you still may receive some retroactive disability benefits.

Additionally, Social Security pays for all months you were entitled to receive disability benefits. This means, if you have to appeal your disability claim all the way to an administrative law judge, you may have a substantial back payment of benefits when you consider the retroactive pay plus all the other months it took to get your disability approved.

If you file for disability, it is extremely important to file an appeal if you are denied, as it determines the amount of any future disability back pay benefits.

If you do not appeal your claim, you will lose any retroactive benefits established by your filing date. You would just have to start over with the date you file your new claim, even if you still have not been able to work.

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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