Severely injured in car accident will I get SSDI back pay?
Recently on our legal forum a user asked, I was hit by a drunk driver and severely injured. I am now in a wheel chair and do not have use of my right hand. My doctor said my rehabilitation and injuries will keep me from work for at least one year. I have filed for Social Security Disability Insurance, but I understand that it can take months or years to be approved. I am wondering whether I will receive back pay and what factors will influence the amount I receive?
Overview of SSDI benefits for car accident injuries
If you have been severely injured, your injury is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months, you have worked and earned work credits, and you meet the other nonmedical requirements for SSDI, you should be awarded SSDI benefits.
Unfortunately, you are right. Even for those who are severely injured, it can take months or years to be approved for benefits. Although your case sounds pretty clear-cut and you might be approved the first time you apply without delay, thus eliminating much of your potential back pay, there are still other factors which can affect your back pay amount.
Factors affecting back pay and retroactive benefits for SSDI benefits
Date you filed your SSDI application
Assuming you were not working and performing substantial gainful activity, claimants are eligible to receive SSDI retroactive benefits up to 12 months prior to their filing date. There is a one caveat, however, claimants must have medical evidence which substantiates their claim of disability.
So, what do you do if you have been disabled and not working for months prior to your filing date? You need to review your medical evidence and make sure that it clearly states that you could not work.
Note: your retroactive SSDI benefits will only be retroactive to the date the SSA determines you were disabled- referred to as your date of onset. If the Social Security Administration can only find medical evidence to support your allegation of disability the month that you filed your application then your onset date will be filing date and you will not be entitled to retroactive SSDI benefits prior to your filing date.
The SSDI waiting period
SSDI claimants must wait five months following the date of the onset of their disability to receive SSDI benefits. The waiting period lasts for a full five months, and SSDI disability benefits do not begin until the beginning of the sixth month.
Will I receive SSDI back pay?
Whether you will receive retroactive disability benefits will depend on your filing date and the onset of your disability. The maximum retroactive benefits you can receive is 12 months. If you include the 5 month waiting period and you can prove that you are disabled and not working 17 months prior to your onset date, you can receive the maximum 12 month retroactive benefits.
Back pay, however, is a different story. Because of the back log to make SSDI decisions, even if you do not qualify for retroactive benefits, its likely you will still receive back payments.
Recent blog:Presumptive pay and SSDI benefits