SSDI Back Pay in Clearwater Overview

For most people seeking SSDI benefits in Clearwater, some period of time elapses between the date they stopped working and the date they applied for benefits. After an injury or illness, it is not always immediately apparent that the individual will be unable to return to work. Additionally, completing a disability application can be incredibly time-consuming, and there can be a significant wait between filing and approval. Bills continue to pile up during this period, and applicants’ savings accounts dwindle. Fortunately, back pay benefits can help make up for some of these losses.

What is Disability Back Pay?

Disability back pay refers to the benefits that an individual receives upon approval for disability benefits. This payment reflects the period of time between the established onset date of disability and the date of the application. Social Security Disability Insurance benefits can be awarded up to a year prior to the application date. Additionally, there is a five-month waiting period, meaning no benefits are payable for the first five months after a claimant is found disabled.

When someone files an application for disability, they may state that they became unable to work as of a certain date, which is known as the alleged onset date of disability. The other important criteria is when the application was filed. For example, if an individual were to file for benefits on April 3, 2019, but they stopped work a year before this, they could potentially receive back pay benefits for that year. Additionally, due to the varying processing times for SSDI applications, back pay can cover anywhere from several months to years.

Alleged vs. Established Onset Dates

There is a crucial difference between the alleged and the established onset dates, and the established date is the one SSA uses when calculating back pay benefits. When one files an application, they allege a date they became unable to work. However, the Administration occasionally issues a favorable decision but with a different onset date than the one the claimant alleged. If this occurs, it can mean a change in total benefits and eligibility for certain medical insurance programs. Since this can result in significant benefit changes, many applicants choose to consult an SSDI attorney if this situation arises.

Approval Letters and the Waiting Period

After one receives the initial approval letter, the wait for benefits can be 60 to 90 days, or even longer in some cases.  Some claimants wait longer than others, as processing times can vary depending on the individual Social Security office. The waiting period allows the Administration to evaluate the claimant’s eligibility for different types of benefits. If approved, the Administration calculates benefit amounts, total back due benefits, as well as potential eligibility for governmental insurance programs like Medicaid and/or Medicare.

An individual will not generally receive their back due benefits until they receive an award letter. Occasionally, back pay benefits are deposited into a bank account set up beforehand.  A person in dire financial circumstances can request the benefits be expedited, but this is not a guarantee.  Due to the number of applicants and lengthy processing times, one will generally not receive back pay benefits before the approval letter arrives.

Talk to an SSDI Attorney About Your Back Pay Benefits

SSDI back pay benefits can be an enormous help to Clearwater residents who become unable to work due to a disability. Unfortunately, seeking fair benefits can be a difficult process, and many claimants have their initial applications denied. To improve your chances of success, consider speaking with a knowledgeable and compassionate SSDI attorney. Call today to set up a consultation.