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Back Payments

Am I Eligible for Retroactive Payments?

Many individuals who apply for Social Security Disability benefits will be paid past due benefits because of the lengthy Social Security Disability application process. The amount of back pay benefits a claimant will receive will vary for Supplemental Security Income benefits or Social Security Disability Insurance.

Individuals receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits may be entitled to retroactive payments from the date of their application and up to 12 months prior to the application date, minus a 5 month waiting period. The Social Security Administration will use the claimant’s EOD or established onset date to determine when their disability began. The claimants established onset date is the date they became unable to work due to their mental or physical condition. The DDS examiner or Administrative Law Judge will determine this date by analyzing the claimant’s medical records.

Supplemental Security Insurance is a Social Security Disability benefit program for individuals who become unable to work due to a disabling health condition but do not have the work credits to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance. If a claimant applies for Supplement Security Income benefits they will receive Social Security Disability payments back to the first day of the month following the date of their application. Individuals will not receive any back payments prior to the application date regardless of the onset date of their disability. Back payments up until the application date could still be substantial if it takes a long time to win Social Security Disability benefits.

How Long Will It Take to Receive Back Pay?

Social Security Disability Insurance back pay is usually paid in a single lump sum payment. If the claimant is entitled to Supplemental Security Income back pay they may receive a lump sum payment if the amount is less than $6,000. If the amount is more than $6,000 the amount may be given in installments to meet the requirements of the income and resource limits of the Supplemental Security Income program.

How Is a Social Security Disability Attorney Paid?

If a claimant receives back pay for their Social Security Disability claim and has hired a Social Security Disability attorney, the Social Security Administration will generally withhold 25% of past due benefits awarded to the claimant up to the $5,300 maximum fee allowed under the Social Security Act and a check will be sent directly to the Social Security Disability attorney. Additional expenses may be incurred by the Social Security Disability attorney for gathering medical records or for paying other third parties on the claimant’s behalf. These fees may be billed directly to the claimant. All fees should be discussed with your Social Security Disability attorney.