Social Security Disability Insurance benefits can be paid retroactively. Supplemental Security Income benefits cannot. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) offers retroactive benefits to cover some of the period between when you first suffered a qualifying impairment and when you applied for disability. You may receive retroactive benefits for up to 12 months before you filed your claim for SSDI.
If your impairment prevents you from working your Pittsburgh job, Berger and Green is here to help. We can help you apply for disability, explain retroactive benefits and back pay, and even help you file an appeal if the Social Security Administration denied your initial application.
Call or text us today at 412-661-1400 to get started.
How Far Back Can I Get Retroactive SSDI Benefits?
Retroactive benefits begin the first day your medical records show you suffered from a qualifying impairment or 12 months before the date you applied, whichever is less time. You cannot recover benefits for more than a year before you applied for SSDI, even if you suffered from the disability for much longer.
For example, if you suffered a disabling back injury in January of 2014 but did not apply for benefits until October of 2015, you could recover retroactive benefits back to October of 2014. If your injury did not occur until January of 2015, however, you could not recover retroactive benefits for the full 12 months before you applied for SSDI in October 2015.
For a free legal consultation, call (412) 424-6079
Calculating Retroactive Pay for SSDI Recipients
When you apply for benefits, the Social Security Administration will assign an established onset date, or EOD, to your case. Unless there is other proof in your medical records, the Social Security Administration will use your application date as your “alleged onset date.”
Once the Social Security Administration confirms it, this becomes your EOD. Only if there is evidence that the onset of your impairment occurred before you filed your application can you receive retroactive benefits.
Retroactive Benefits vs. Back Pay
Benefits for the time between when your impairment first occurred and your application date are called retroactive. Benefits available for the time between your application date and when your benefits begin (minus a five-month waiting period) is back pay. In some cases, especially if you have to appeal a denial, the period covered by back pay can be significant.
Supplemental Security Income and Retroactive Benefits
There are no retroactive benefits awarded for those qualifying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), although you can receive SSDI retroactive benefits if you qualify for both programs. Even if you suffered a qualifying impairment and met other qualifications for months before you filed your SSI application, there is no way to recover the payments you qualified for during those months.
If you do not get approval for your benefits right away, you may qualify for SSI back pay. Like SSDI back pay, this covers the period between when you applied and when you got approved for benefits. Unlike SSDI back pay, there is no five-month waiting period. Depending on how long it took to get approval, this could total thousands of dollars.
For those getting over $2,000 in SSI back pay, the Social Security Administration pays this back pay in three installments:
- One shortly after approval
- One six months later
- One at the one-year mark
We can help you understand how much back pay you should receive following a successful appeal.
We encourage you to apply for disability benefits, including SSI, as soon as you are eligible. We can help you understand the criteria and file your application. Call us today at 412-661-1400 to get started with a free consultation.
Talk to a Pittsburgh Disability Attorney About Your Benefits Today
If you cannot continue to work your Pittsburgh job because of a permanent or long-term impairment, the Social Security disability attorneys from Berger and Green can help. We can review your application, explain your options, and help you file your claim.
We can also help you navigate the appeals process if the Social Security Administration denies your claim. We will fight for the full benefits you deserve based on the facts of your case, including retroactive benefits and back pay.
If you suffer from an impairment because of an injury accident, we may be able to help you build a case for additional compensation and file an injury lawsuit on your behalf. We offer free case reviews and handle these cases based on contingency. We do not receive payment unless you get your benefits.
Call or text us today at 412-661-1400 for your free consultation with a member of our team.