You may get back pay from Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income depending on the circumstances of your disability case. Back pay provides the payments you missed because the Social Security Administration initially denied the claim. Back pay may be available for both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Understanding Disability Back Pay
When the Social Security Administration approves you for SSDI and/or SSI, it assigns you an established onset date. This is the date when you became eligible for benefits by being unable to work because of your impairment. You should receive back pay for the period between this date and when the Social Security Administration approved you for benefits.
Not everyone who receives approval for benefits through the appeals process will receive back pay, however.
Factors That Determine Whether You Receive Back Pay
The amount of back pay you may qualify to receive — and if you qualify at all — depends on several factors. This includes:
- Whether you are eligible for SSDI, SSI, or both
- When you first suffered a qualifying impairment
- When you applied for benefits
- How long it took for you to get benefits through the appeals process
In general, those who have a longer wait between their application and their appeals hearing can expect to receive more back pay, assuming the Social Security Administration does not assign them a new onset date during the appeals process.
Supplemental Security Income Back Pay
SSI is a need-based program, and those who meet the strict criteria and receive approval begin drawing benefits immediately. There is no waiting period for SSI. Once approved, you may be eligible to get benefits dating back to when you filed your application.
We can help you with calculating SSI back pay once we have a date for your hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. If we can secure back pay for you during this hearing, you will receive it in three installments. The first is shortly after your approval, the second six months later, and the third one year after your approval.
Example of SSI Back Pay
It took the Social Security Administration 11 months to approve your claim. You are eligible for the maximum payment of $735. The Social Security Administration would owe you $8,074. You would receive that $8,074 in three payments.
Social Security Disability Insurance Back Pay
Back pay for SSDI differs from back pay for SSI in a few important ways:
First, there is a five-month waiting period for SSDI. This means that even if the Social Security Administration approves you based on your initial claim, you must wait five months from your established onset date to begin receiving benefits.
Different Payout Schedule
SSDI also pays out differently than SSI. If you apply for and receive only SSDI benefits, you will receive your back pay in a lump sum relatively soon after you receive approval.
Example of SSDI Payment
The Social Security Administration took 15 months to approve you for SSDI. You receive $1,000 per month. Because of the five-month waiting period, you would be entitled to 10 months of back pay. You would receive a $10,000 lump sum.
You May Be Eligible for Retroactive Benefits
Lastly, getting approval for SSDI may allow you to also recover retroactive benefits. These benefits cover the period between your onset date and the date you applied, or 12 months, whichever is less. For example, if you became disabled in January but did not apply for benefits until October, you may be eligible to receive up to ten months of retroactive benefits.
Get Help with Your Benefits and Disability Back Pay
We cannot guarantee that you will receive back pay, even if you win your Social Security Disability appeal. However, the team from Berger and Green will present a solid case to try to recover as much back pay as possible when we handle your disability appeals case.
We can often present medical evidence and other proof to the Administrative Law Judge overseeing these hearings. Using this evidence, we try to convince the Administrative Law Judge of the accuracy of the established onset date you included on your application. This may enable you to recover substantial back pay, depending on how long you waited on your hearing.
You can reach a Pittsburgh Social Security Disability attorney from Berger and Green today by calling 412-661-1400. We offer free case reviews and consultations, and you do not owe us any attorney’s fees until we get you approved for benefits.