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Tampa Workers' Compensation Attorney / Blog / Social Security Disability / How Much Social Security Disability Backpay Can You Receive?

How Much Social Security Disability Backpay Can You Receive?


If you have past-due social security disability benefits, you are probably wondering how, when, and how much backpay you will get.

After your Social Security disability application has been approved, you will be entitled to receive Social Security disability backpay, which has accrued from the moment you filed your disability application (or even sooner).

There may be past-due Social Security disability benefits since the Social Security Administration usually needs a few months to process disability applications. How much backpay you are entitled to depends on:

  • When you applied for social security disability benefits;
  • When your disability began; and
  • The five-month waiting period.

The Social Security Disability Application Date

The date when you applied for Social Security disability benefits is a significant factor when it comes to determining how much backpay you are entitled to. If you are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you may also be entitled to receive past-due benefits back to the date of filing your application.

In some cases, an individual who is eligible for SSDI benefits can receive retroactive benefits for 12 months prior to the application date. Whether or not an applicant is entitled to Social Security disability backpay also depends on whether their disability is based on SSI or SSDI.

If you are receiving SSI benefits, you may receive backpay back to the month after which your application was filed.

The Date When Your Disability Began

The onset date of your disability is also a critical factor when it comes to determining when and how much Social Security disability backpay you can receive. When filing an application for Social Security disability benefits, you will be asked to specify the date when your disability began, also referred to as the alleged onset date (AOD).

After your application has been approved, a Disability Determination Services Disability Examiner will set the established onset date (EOD). If your case goes to trial, the EOD will be determined by an administrative law judge. The EOD is the date when your disability actually began and is based on your work history, disability application, and medical records.

The Five-Month Waiting Period

The third factor that affects past-due SSDI benefits – but not SSI benefits – is the five-month waiting period. When your disability application has been approved by the SSA, and you know your EOD, the first five months of benefits will be removed from your case. Thus, you are not entitled to receive Social Security disability benefits until after five months following the EOD.

For instance, if the EOD is set 9 months prior to the application date, you will be entitled to only four months of backpay prior to the date of your SSDI application. All retroactive SSDI benefits are paid in a lump sum. As for SSI backpay, small amounts are paid in a lump sum, while large amounts are divided into three payments with six months between each of them.

Consult with a Tampa Social Security disability attorney at Kobal Law to determine whether you are entitled to retroactive benefits and calculate how much backpay you can receive. Call at 813-873-2440 for a case review.


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