The Social Security disability application process is a waiting game that can take months or years to complete. Application denials, new submission attempts and frustrating delays in communication are common occurrences when applying for Social Security disability benefits. Back Pay refers to the benefits you would have received had your claim been approved immediately. The process of determining a start date and calculating past due benefits is not a simple equation. Like applying for disability benefits, Social Security disability back pay has headaches of its own.
Back Pay Date Determination
The day your Social Security disability Back Pay begins to accumulate is determined by looking at two dates. First, the date you filed your disability claims; second, the date that the Social Security Administration (SSA) decides your disability began. This second date is known as the “established onset date” and is established by an examiner or administrator assigned to view your file and medical records. Once an onset date of your disability is set, all the days going forward to the start of your approval will count towards Back Pay.
The established onset date (EOD) can drastically affect the calculations of your back pay. Appealing your EOD means your entire claim for disability falls under new review – not just the onset date. This opens your disability case to a new set of eyes and new scrutiny. If the reviewer thinks the prior awarding of benefits was incorrect, your entire benefits claim can be denied.
5 Month Waiting Period
Although back pay is calculated based on the established onset date, the Social Security Administration has established a 5 month waiting period for which SSDI recipients do not receive benefits.
For example, if there was a 15 month period of time between when your disability is determined to have began and when you were finally approved for benefits, the SSA would subtract 5 months for the “waiting period,” and you would be awarded 10 months of back pay.
Back Pay Distribution
After waiting for approval, it would seem reasonable to receive Social Security disability Back Pay immediately after your case is approved. Like all facets of the Social Security process, Back Pay benefits move slowly as well. Retroactive benefits are paid incrementally only, meaning you won’t receive all Back Pay in a single lump sum. The Social Security Administration has stated that issuing lump sum back payment checks would result in a strain on financial resources.
Payment notification has been known be unpredictable. Some Social Security disability recipients have received Back Pay benefits before acknowledgement of their disability claim approval. Other times payments were deposited into bank accounts without notice.
The Social Security benefits process is painted with an overriding patina of uncertainty. Having the Social Security disability attorneys at The Law Offices Of M. Stanley Whitehead on your side can be instrumental in keeping track of your claim. Contact The Law Offices Of M. Stanley Whitehead today and speak with our experienced Social Security benefits team.