If you get approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you might be eligible for back pay or retroactive benefits. Back pay might also be available if you qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Retroactive benefits might go back to the date you first suffered a disability—or up to a year before the day you applied for benefits. For SSI, back pay goes back to the date of your original application for benefits.
What Is Back Pay?
The disability claims process is complex to navigate. It can take some time to be approved for benefits.
We can handle this process for you and try to get your benefits. However, the process can still take months or even more than a year to complete.
Back Pay Compensates You for This Wait Time
During this time, your back pay is adding up. If we convince Social Security to approve your application, you will begin receiving direct deposits each month. In addition, you might receive a lump sum payment for your back pay—if you are getting SSDI—or several smaller payments—if you qualify for SSI.
How Do I Get Retroactive Benefits?
If you qualify for SSDI, you might also get another type of benefits in addition to back pay. Retroactive benefits might be available to you if you suffered an impairing injury or illness and then waited to apply for benefits.
Retroactive benefits begin the day you were first unable to work and met the criteria to get SSDI benefits. This can be no longer than a year before you first applied for disability benefits. We can help you understand if you meet the criteria to get retroactive benefits when we handle your disability claim.
How Far Back Will My Disability Benefits Pay?
Your established onset date, or EOD, is the date you first met the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of disability. To establish your EOD, the SSA could use:
- The date you claimed your disability began on your application; or
- A date it assigns based on your medical records; or
- A date assigned during the appeals process based on changes in your status.
Your EOD plays a key role in both back pay and retroactive benefits. If the SSA accepts the date you put on your SSDI application, you might be able to collect retroactive benefits back to this date – minus the SSA’s mandatory five-month waiting period.
What If My Disability Status Changed?
In some cases, an applicant does not meet the disability eligibility criteria when they first applied. However, as they navigate the appeals process, their medical status changes and they qualify for benefits.
When this occurs, the SSA will assign a new EOD. While this would allow you to begin receiving monthly disability benefits, it might also eliminate some of your retroactive benefits and limit your back pay.
Will an Appeal Affect My Back Pay Amount?
If we handle your appeal, we will do everything we can to prove that you qualify for disability benefits and you deserve back pay. We will also argue for retroactive benefits if you are eligible.
In some cases, if we cannot show you have medical evidence of a qualifying impairment at the time you originally said that you became disabled, it might be difficult for us to collect back pay or retroactive benefits for you. We can discuss challenges like this during a free consultation about your case.
How Can I Discuss Back Benefits With an Attorney?
The disability lawyers from Berger and Green will help you fight for the disability benefits you need, including back pay and retroactive benefits. Let us review your application, request your appeals hearing and represent you before the Administrative Law Judge. You pay us nothing until we get benefits on your behalf.
Call us today at 412-661-1400 for a complimentary consultation.