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When Will I Receive My SSDI Back Pay?

Published on April 22nd, 2023

Don’t fight alone!

Ease the Stress and avoid mistakes.

How Does SSDI Back Pay Work?

Any delays you face between your disability onset date and the date your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) application gets approved, are eligible for back pay.

SSDI back pay, also known as retroactive benefits, refers to the payment of past-due benefits you can receive. Here are some additional details that break down key components of the back pay process.

  • Disability onset date: The SSA establishes a disability onset date, which is the date when they determine that your disability began and you became eligible for SSDI benefits. This date is important for calculating the back pay amount, as it determines the period of time for which you may be eligible to receive retroactive benefits.
  • Waiting period: SSDI benefits are generally payable after a 5-month waiting period from the disability onset date. This means that the first five months of your disability are not eligible for back pay, as they are considered the waiting period. However, if your application is approved after the waiting period, you may be eligible to receive back pay for the remaining months.
  • Application date: The date of your SSDI application also plays a role in determining the back pay amount. If your disability onset date is before your application date, you may be eligible to receive retroactive benefits for the period of time between your disability onset date and your application date.
  • Calculation of back pay: The SSA calculates the back pay amount by determining the monthly benefit amount you would have been eligible to receive during the period between your disability onset date and your application date, and subtracting any other income you may have received during that period. The resulting amount is the back pay owed to you.
  • Lump sum payment: Once your SSDI application is approved and the back pay amount is calculated, the SSA typically pays the retroactive benefits in a lump sum. However, if the back pay amount is large, the SSA may choose to pay it in installments over a period of time.

If you’re unsure whether you’re eligible for back pay for social security disability benefits, then it’s best to contact a qualified Social Security disability attorney for specific information about your case.

When Will I Receive My SSDI Back Pay?

To make a disability claim, you must have a condition that has lasted or is expected to last for a year or longer. And after applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, it takes months to learn if your application was approved. You may have to wait a year or more from your disability onset date before receiving SSDI benefits.

Recognizing this delay, the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers back pay as well as retroactive payments. Back pay covers the time between your application date and your first payment. Retroactive benefits cover a maximum of 12 months from your established onset date (EOD) through your application date.

However, there is a five-month waiting period from your disability onset date. This means that you only become eligible for SSDI benefits during the sixth full month after your EOD. Thus, in order to receive the full 12 months of retroactive benefits, your onset date must predate your application by 17 months (12 months of benefits plus the five-month waiting period).

Once you begin receiving benefits, it takes another one to two months to receive your SSDI back pay. At this point, you will receive a lump sum containing the full amount of your SSDI back pay and retroactive benefits.

Can You Get Back Pay For Both SSI and SSDI?

Yes, you can get both SSI and SSDI back pay. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and SSDI have the same medical requirements. However, only individuals with limited assets will be eligible for SSI.

Although SSI benefits will include back pay, the program does not offer retroactive benefits. As a result, you are only eligible for SSI payments from the month after your application date. In rare instances when the EOD is after the application date, benefits will begin on the EOD.

Unlike SSDI back pay, SSI back pay will not come as a lump sum unless the amount owed is less than $2,349. Otherwise, you will receive your back pay for SSI in three installments spread six months apart. The first two installments are limited to $2,349. The final installment will include the remaining balance, whatever that might be.

Because SSI is a needs-based program, it considers all of an individual’s income and assets when determining how much to pay out. If you are eligible for concurrent benefits from both SSDI and SSI, the amount of your SSDI benefits will be subtracted from your SSI benefits.

How Long Does It Take To Get SSDI Back Pay?

Your SSDI backpay timeline is entirely unique to the circumstances your disability application faces. The process of receiving SSDI back pay can take several weeks to several months, and sometimes even longer depending on various factors. However, there are some general timeframes that can give you an idea of what to expect:

  • Retroactive benefits SSDI are typically payable after a 5-month waiting period from the date of disability onset. Once your claim is approved, you may receive back pay for this waiting period.
  • The SSA generally takes several months to process SSDI applications. This means it might take additional time to review your medical records, obtain additional information from your healthcare providers, and verify other medical and financial eligibility requirements.
  • If your initial SSDI application is denied, you may need to go through the administrative review and appeals process. This can also contribute to the timeline for receiving back pay.

Once your SSDI application is approved and any appeals are resolved, the SSA will calculate your back pay amount before beginning payments. This is typically made in a lump sum, but it could take additional time for the administration to process it. If you have direct deposit set up with the Social Security Administration, then it’s possible for you to see this sum in your bank account even faster. In most cases, however, this lump sum payment is issued via check through the mail.

Ensuring You Receive Your SSDI Back Pay In Full

Applying for disability benefits is confusing. The additional complexity of back pay, retroactive benefits, and concurrent benefits makes them even more complex. Consulting a disability attorney is the best way to ensure your application is approved and that you receive your SSDI back pay promptly and in full.

The Law Offices of Jeffrey A. Rabin & Associates is home to some of the best disability lawyers in the Chicago area. We’ll help you every step of the way, from gathering evidence for your application to making sure you receive the benefits you deserve. Call us today at (847) 652-9114 for a free case evaluation.

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