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What is SSDI Back Pay?


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Social Security disability benefits can provide the financial assistance you need when a disability prevents you from earning a living. By applying and qualifying according to the nature of your disability and other requirements, you can will be awarded monthly benefits under SSDI, or in some cases Supplemental Security Income (SSI). In addition to monthly disability benefits, you may also be eligible to recover additional financial support for the time you apply to the date your disability application is approved in the form of back payments.

Goodman Acker, P.C. has been committed to protecting the rights and futures of clients with injuries and disabilities since 1994. During that time, we have leveraged over 75 years of collective experience to help maximize the compensation and benefits our clients receive. This includes exploring all potential avenues for financial support. During the Social Security disability and SSI process, this means our lawyers also explore whether clients may be eligible for SSDI / SSI back pay.

What is Back Pay?

When you apply for either Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplement Security income, there is a possibility you might be owed back pay, or back due benefits, once your application is approved. Back payments for each work as follows:

  • SSDI – For Social Security Disability benefits, regardless of how long you have been disabled, the furthest back you might be entitled to back due benefits is 12 months prior to your most recent application date. Additionally, a “five month waiting period” means that you will not be eligible to receive any benefits from beginning of your disability through the first five months. For example, if Social Security determines on January 1, 2017 that you became disabled on January 1, 2016, the first month you would be eligible for back pay would be June 2016. The first five months of disability, January through May 2016, are not eligible for back due benefits due to the five month waiting period.

  • SSI - SSI back pay is only paid from the first full month following the determined date of disability, but not prior to your most recent application filing date. For example, if you filed for SSI benefits on January 2, 2016, claiming and being found disabled as of November 18, 2015, the first month that you could receive an SSI payment would be February 2016. This is due to the fact that SSI benefits are not payable prior to the date of application and the first full month.

Because the Social Security process can be lengthy, back due benefits are essential in recovering financial support for the months between the time your application was submitted until it was finally approved. In some cases, disabled individuals who apply for SSDI benefits may also be eligible for retroactive benefits. These benefits are paid for the time between your disability onset date and the time you applied for Social Security disability benefits, which you would have been entitled to receive if an application was filed earlier.

How back due benefits are dispersed will depend on the type of program you were approved for. For SSDI only, Social Security will likely issue one lump-sum payment for the entirety of your back due benefits. For SSI, or both SSI and SSDI, back due benefits are typically dispersed in three payments separated by six months. Some exceptions are made for disabled individuals to receive a lump-sum back due benefit payment.

Back due benefits are an essential part of the financial support you need, and our Detroit Social Security disability lawyers can help you better understand how they work, whether you may be entitled, and how these back due payments are calculated during a FREE consultation. We encourage you to contact our team at Goodman Acker, P.C. today to learn more!