Is it possible to get compensated for back payment of your social security disability benefits? What is the typical timeframe to receive back pay? These questions and more are answered in this post.

Social security disability back pay is the payment of disability benefits from the date of approval of your claim back to the date of your application. Because it takes the social security administration (SSA) so long to process disability applications, the majority of applicants who are approved for benefits will receive back pay. Whether and how much back pay an applicant is entitled to depends on:

• Whether the application was for social security disability insurance (SSDI) or supplemental security income (SSI);
• The date the application for benefits was submitted;
• The applicant’s disability onset date, and;
• The date the benefits application is approved.

Social Security Disability Insurance Back Pay

Back pay for social security disability benefits is paid from the date the application is approved back to at least the application date, and possibly up to 12 months prior. Technically, benefits paid for the period prior to application are called retroactive payments, but for purposes of this article we will include them as back pay.

When applying for SSDI the applicant lists an alleged disability onset date. The SSA will accept the alleged disability onset date if the applicant’s medical record and work history show an inability to participate in substantial gainful activity as a result of the disability. If the SSA accepts it, this date then becomes the established disability onset date, and will be the date used to determine how far back social security disability back pay will apply.

In many cases the disability onset date is the date listed on the benefits application. If, however, you can prove that your disability occurred prior to the date of application, you may be entitled to receive retroactive back pay for up to 12 months prior to the date your application was submitted. Your social security disability attorney can help you establish an earlier disability onset date.

One important note: the SSA imposes a five-month waiting period for the receipt of disability benefits, which begins on the date the application is filed. This means any back pay you receive (not including retroactive payments) will not include payments for the five months following the date of application for benefits.

Supplemental Security Income Back Pay

SSI back pay is much more limited than SSDI back pay. If your SSI benefits application is approved, you are entitled to back pay from the date of approval of your claim back to the date you applied for benefits. You are not entitled to retroactive back pay, even if your disability onset date was prior to the date of application.

Unlike SSDI, however, SSI benefits are not subject to a five-month waiting period. So back payments will be for the period beginning on the first day of eligibility for benefits (normally the first of the month following the date of application) to the date the application is approved.

How Much Social Security Disability Back Pay Can I Expect to Receive?

The amount of social security disability back pay depends on your monthly benefit amount, when your application is approved and the type of disability benefits you will receive. Applicant’s whose claims are approved during the initial review process will receive much less back pay compared to an applicant who spent several years fighting for claim approval through the appeals process.

How Long Will it Take to Receive Social Security Disability Back Pay?

Because the receipt of back pay is dependent on when your claim is approved, it is difficult to say how long it will take to receive back pay. An applicant whose claim is approved at the outset or in an early level of appeals will receive back pay much sooner than a person who spends several years trying to get his claim approved.

How long it takes to receive social security disability back pay also depends on whether you receive SSDI or SSI. SSDI back pay is paid in one lump sum. SSI back pay, on the other hand, is normally paid in installments to avoid putting the applicant over the program’s strict income and resource limits.

Are you filing an Application for SSDI or SSI for the first time? Consider the Law Office of Neil H. Good for representation. Contact his office online or call #(847) 577-4476 for a free case evaluation.