Past due benefits, also known as back pay, are what the Social Security Administration (SSA) owes you back after your claim has been approved. The amount of your past due benefits will vary depending on the type of disability benefits you apply for, the date your disability began, and the date you filed your claim.
Back Pay for SSI Title 16 Benefits
If you are applying for disability benefits through the need-based Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, you will be entitled to receive past due benefits from as far back as the date you filed your initial application. So, even if you have been disabled for years, you can only receive back pay from the date that you filed your initial application.
Back Pay for SSDI Title 2 Benefits
If you are applying for disability benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, you are entitled to receive past due benefits from the established onset date (EOD) of your disability. Your EOD is determined by a Disability Determination Services (DDS) examiner or administrative law judge (ALJ). Your EOD is considered the date when your disability actually began and is based on your work history and medical records.
There is also a five-month waiting period for SSDI beneficiaries, which means that the SSA will eliminate your first 5 months of benefits. For example, if the SSA determines that your EOD is 5 months prior to the date that your SSDI claim was approved, you will not be entitled to back pay (5 - 5 = 0 months). If your EOD is 11 months prior to the date that your SSDI claim was approved, you'll be entitled to 6 months of back pay (11 - 5 = 6 months). Keep in mind that the maximum number of months of back pay that an SSDI beneficiary can receive is 12 months. So, if your EOD is 21 months before your approval date (21 - 5 = 16 months), you'll be entitled to a maximum of 12 months of back pay.
It may take a while for you to receive your Social Security disability back pay, especially if you were awarded disability benefits at a hearing before an ALJ. You may even receive your first monthly check before you receive your back pay because the latter takes longer to process. Furthermore, if you apply for SSI benefits, you will not receive the back pay in one lump sum - you will receive it in three installments mailed six months apart. If you've been approved for both SSDI and SSI benefits, the back pay amounts will offset.
Find out If You're Entitled to Past Due Benefits:
Then have your case reviewed by Atlanta Social Security disability attorney Louis B. Lusk. For a free evaluation, call 800.883.7043 (or 404.250.7000) or fill out our online contact form.