If you are awarded monthly benefits you may be awarded back pay. Back pay is the monthly benefit you are owed from the onset of your disability until you are awarded benefits. Back pay is actually a simple concept once you understand how the onset date works.

The onset date refers to the day you became disabled. For example, if you stopped working on January 2, 2014 because of your disability, then January 2, 2014 is your onset date. There is a five month waiting period until your monthly benefits kick-in and are set aside in your back pay “piggy bank.”

If your onset date is January 2, 2014 your monthly benefits do not get set aside until July 1, 2016. At this point you may be asking yourself: Why don’t back pay benefits start May 2, 2014? The Social Securit Administration (SSA) rounds up to the next month and anything after the first of the month is rounded up.

SSDI claimants are only entitled to back pay from one year before they applied. So if you applied for SSDI on January 2, 2017 and you allege an onset date of January 2, 2014 you can only get back pay starting from January 2, 2016, one year before you applied. This is one reason why delaying applying for SSDI can cost you money.

An SSD attorney’s fees come out of the back pay piggy bank. All attorneys charge 25% of the piggy bank with a maximum fee of $6,000. A Social Security Disability attorney cannot charge you if they lose your case. One of the nice things about the attorney’s fee coming out of the back pay piggy bank is the fact that you do not have to pay your attorney directly. If you are awarded disability benefits, the SSA will crunch the number based on the back pay in your piggy-bank and pay your attorney their fee from the back pay piggy bank. The other portion of the piggy bank will go to you. In addition, attorneys often ask clients to reimburse them for the costs of gathering medical records. Following a favorable decision a claimant will receive monthly benefits. No attorney’s fees will come out of the monthly benefits. Attorneys are only paid out of the back pay piggy bank.

Are you applying for SSD benefits or do you need to appeal from a denial? Consider the Law Office of Neil H. Good for your representation. You can call toll-free for a complimentary case evaluation or complete this online form.