When meeting with clients, I am frequently asked either “How much will I receive in back pay?” or “How far back will my back pay go?” Past Due Benefits, or back pay as it is commonly referred, is the money that Social Security owes you for the months you were eligible for benefits before Social Security awarded your claim. Because applying for Social Security disability can be a lengthy process, many people are entitled to past due benefits for the months they have been waiting for Social Security to process his or her claim. However, the amount of back pay depends on a few different factors including the Claimant’s onset date of disability, what kind of claim the person has, and when did the claimant file for benefits.
For Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI), back pay can be awarded up to one year before a Claimant filed. For Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a Claimant is eligible for back pay starting the month after you filed. These are the most that a claimant may receive in back pay. However, the onset date of your disability will also determine how many months a person might receive in back pay. The onset date of disability is the date that Social Security found you to be disabled. This may differ from what is originally put on an application. The onset date of disability usually either reflects the date the Claimant stopped working or the date the Claimant was diagnosed or injured.
For SSDI, a claimant must be disabled for 5 full months before they are entitled to any back pay. For example, a woman is injured in a car accident on January 7, 2021, the onset date of her disability. The Claimant did not work after her accident but did not file a claim for Social Security disability until December 15, 2021. If the Claimant has an SSDI claim, the woman’s back pay would start July 1, 2021 as she has to wait 5 full months before she is entitled to any payment. If the woman only had an SSI claim, her back pay would start January 1, 2022 as that is the first full month after she filed. If the Claimant is awarded in May of 2022, she would be owed back pay for her SSDI claim from July 1, 2021 through May of 2022. If she had an SSI claim, she would be entitled to back pay from January 1, 2022 through May of 2022.
If you have questions about Social Security disability, contact an experienced Social Security disability attorney at Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. today at 251-343-1111 for a free case evaluation. Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. represents Social Security disability claimants in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana at all levels of the disability process from initial application to appeals to Federal Court.