Will my disability back pay go back to the day I became disabled?

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There are two different ways to approach this. Your disability onset date, or EOD (established onset date) can be be proven to go as far back as the day you became disabled. It can even be proved to be sooner than the date you filed your claim, though this only really affects an SSDI claim for which there are potentially 12 retroactive months of back pay payable. However, with regard to back pay, this is a different situation entirely.

With regard to back pay, the simple answer to this question is no for both SSI and SSDI. If you are eligible for SSDI, you have a five-month waiting period that begins with the month following the month you became disabled. Social Security never pays for the five month waiting period, therefore your Social Security back pay can only begin with the sixth month following the month you became disabled an unable to work. SSDI only has twelve months of potential retroactive back payment of benefits and they begin after the five-month waiting period.

If you are eligible for SSI disability benefits, the date you file you claim determines the month your back pay can begin. You will not be paid for any months prior to your date of filing even if you were disabled earlier.

Related: Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it

For more information about SSD and SSI on this site, please refer to the pages and sections linked below.