Note: The SSDI, SSI disability system is federal and nationally standardized, though there are state differences in approval rates, wait times, the number of appeals available–as of the time of this writing–and even the name given to the stage disability agency (DDS, or the Bureau or Division of Disability Determination). Now, to answer the question…
If you apply for disability benefits in North Carolina and you get approved, how far back your benefits will be paid will be based on two factors.
1. Were you approved for Social Security Disability, or SSI disability?
If you are approved for title II Social Security Disability benefits, you can receive back pay from the time of your original application date. However, you can also receive benefits for the 12 month period prior to your application date. This is known as retroactive benefits.
If you are approved for title 16 SSI disability benefits, you can receive back pay only from the time of your application, i.e. your original application date. SSI does not pay retroactive benefits.
2. How many levels of the system did your claim have to go through before you were awarded benefits?
This makes a huge difference in the amount of your back payment since, obviously, the longer your claim has been pending, the more you will have established in built up “past due benefits “, otherwise known as back pay.
If you were approved at the initial claim level in North Carolina (only about 30% of cases in NC are), you may not have a large back payment. That is, unless your disability application took for, for some odd reason, a very long time to process.
However, most disability claims are completed well under six months, and usually between three and four months of processing time.
If your claim is like the majority of claims, though, and you have to go through the disability application stage, the reconsideration appeal stage, and the disability hearing stage, then, most likely, you will be owed a substantial amount in past due benefits, or backpay. Very often, this can amount to tens of thousands of dollars in past due benefits.