If you have not yet received approval for your Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, it is difficult to know when you may gain approval and get your back pay. This is especially true if you are in the process of appealing a denial. This process can last several months or drag on for a year or more. Once you begin getting monthly deposits from the Social Security Administration (SSA), your back pay should come automatically within a few months.
Ensuring you get the SSD benefits you deserve is not as easy as it seems. If you received a denial, you need a skilled disability lawyer to help you navigate the appeals process. At Berger and Green, we can file your request for consideration and represent you in front of the administrative law judge at your hearing. We will fight for your benefits and help you get the income and back pay you deserve. Call us today at 412-661-1400 to learn more.
What is SSD back pay?
Back pay is the benefits you qualified for but were not paid while the SSA took their time considering your application. Usually, back pay stems from an applicant having to file an appeal after receiving a letter of denial. While we fight for your monthly benefits, the pay you qualify for but have not yet been approved to receive accumulates. This is back pay.
The appeals process is time consuming and it takes several months to navigate each step. You may have to wait years for your claim to finally receive approval, although your disability prevents you from working throughout this time. This can be an extremely stressful time. Having a disability attorney on your side may help you keep fighting for the benefits you deserve.
The appeals process can seem like a waiting game. It can take over a year and includes a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. If this is not successful, we will continue with the appeals process until you receive the benefits you deserve.
How will I receive my Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) back pay?
SSDI back pay comes as a lump sum payment. The SSA issues this payment separately from your regular monthly deposit.
How long before I get my back pay?
While this one-time deposit does not occur immediately after you receive approval, the processing time is fairly quick. It may take three to four months after your first regular benefits check to see this large deposit. If it takes more time we follow up with Social Security for our clients to pinpoint what may be causing the delay.
Can I get retroactive benefits?
Some people may qualify for additional back pay based on when their disability first occurred and when they applied for benefits. Known as retroactive benefits, this type of back pay covers a maximum of one year before you filed for SSDI. For example, imagine you suffered a back injury that left you unable to work last March, but you did not file for SSDI until December. Once you receive approval, you may also qualify for retroactive benefits to cover the months between September and December.
How does the SSDI waiting period affect my back pay?
There is a five–month waiting period for SSDI benefits, meaning even if you receive approval the month after you apply you will not be eligible to receive benefits until five months after the date your disability first occurred. If you have to file an appeal or qualify for retroactive benefits, this may not prevent you from receiving monthly benefits as soon as you gain approval. It will, however, reduce your retroactive or back pay by five months’ worth of payments.
For example, earlier we mentioned a situation where your debilitating injury occurred in March but you did not apply for benefits until December. In this case, your retroactive back pay would cover only September through December. The first five months of the period would count as your waiting period.
How will I receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) back pay?
There is no waiting period for SSI, so your benefits begin the month after your claim gains initial approval or you win your appeal. Your back pay will cover the months between your application date and the date you received approval.
How long will it take to get my SSI back pay?
The SSA pays SSI back pay as three installments instead of as a lump sum like SSDI. Within a few months of receiving your first SSI monthly benefit, you should receive one-third of your back pay. A second payment follows six months later and the final payment occurs after another six months.
Can I qualify for retroactive benefits?
There are no retroactive benefits available for SSI. Imagine you applied for SSI in June but your claim was denied. After a successful appeals process, you received approval in January. Your back pay will cover the months between July and January. If you receive your first back pay deposit in April, you will receive a second installment in October and the final payment the following April.
How can a Pittsburgh Social Security Disability lawyer help me get the benefits I deserve?
Navigating the process to secure the disability payments you deserve is not easy, especially when you receive an initial denial of benefits. At Berger and Green, we can guide you through the appeals process and help you understand how much back pay you can expect once you gain approval. Call us today at 412-661-1400 to schedule a time to talk with a Pittsburgh Social Security Disability attorney.