Disability Benefits

Understanding past-due Disability Benefits and SSI

Living with a disability can be challenging. One of the critical resources to help manage this challenge is disability benefits provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA). These benefits can significantly ease the financial burden for individuals dealing with impairments that affect their ability to work. If you’ve recently been approved for disability benefits, you may be entitled to past-due or backpay benefits. These benefits are often overlooked, but they help compensate for the time between the onset of disability and the approval of your claim. Here’s what you need to know about your past-due disability benefits from an expert Social Security disability attorney.

What are Past-Due or Backpay Benefits?

Past-due or backpay benefits are essentially disability benefits that have been awarded retroactively. If you’ve applied for either Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and your application has been approved, you may be entitled to receive benefits from the time your disability began. This period can span several months or even years, depending on when your disability started and when you applied for benefits.

These benefits are typically given in a lump sum and can serve as substantial financial relief to those who have struggled with the costs associated with their disability.

Determining the Amount of Past-Due Disability Benefits

Determining the full amount of past-due disability benefits involves a complex calculation based on two crucial dates, the type of benefit you are filing for, and your date last insured.

Two Important Dates

The first date is the alleged onset date of disability, which is the date your disability began. This is important because your past-due benefits will be calculated from this date in determining your date of entitlement (see below), not from the date you applied for disability benefits.

The second important date is your application date, which is the day you formally applied for disability benefits.

Disability lawyer

Date of Entitlement

The date of entitlement is the day your past-due benefits will be paid back.  Many people ask why benefits don’t begin on the date they were found disabled. Social Security disability benefits never begin on the date one is found disabled because of the waiting period of five full calendar months. Another rule limits payment of back benefits to 12 months before the date of the application. Therefore, your benefits begin either 12 months before the date of application or five full months after the date you were found to be disabled, whichever is later.

The Date Last Insured

The date you were last insured can also significantly impact your disability benefits. If you haven’t worked for several years, you need to check on the date you were last insured for benefits. This is the last day you meet the insurance requirements of Social Security, and it might affect your eligibility for past-due benefits.

SSDI, SSI, or Both?

Additionally, understanding the type of benefit you’re eligible for is paramount. The two main types of benefits are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

SSDI benefits are based on your work history and the amount you’ve paid into Social Security via taxes. On the other hand, SSI benefits are needs-based and are determined by your income and resources. You could also be eligible for both types of benefits.

Once you know these dates, check your last insured date, and the type of benefits you’re eligible for. You can then figure out the amount of your past-due disability benefits. It’s recommended to consult a Social Security disability attorney or an expert to ensure that you are receiving all of the benefits you’re entitled to.

Factors That Affect SSDI Past-Due Benefits

Several factors can impact the amount of past-due benefits you receive from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). They include your average lifetime earnings, the date of your disability onset, and the date you applied for benefits. Furthermore, the type of disability benefits you are eligible for, such as SSDI or SSI, or both, can also affect the amount of your past-due benefits.

Application Date

The application date for your disability benefits is a crucial element in determining your past-due benefits. If you suspect you may be eligible for disability benefits, it’s important to apply as soon as possible to maximize your potential back pay.

Alleged Onset Date vs Established Onset Date

The alleged onset date of your disability is the date you claim your disability began when filling out your SSDI application. The established onset date (EOD), on the other hand, is the date determined by the SSA based on your medical evidence. This date might be the same as your alleged onset date, or it could be later. The EOD can significantly impact the amount of your past-due benefits, as benefits are calculated from this date.

When to Expect to Receive Your Past-Due Benefits

Your First Monthly Payment

Your monthly SSDI and/or SSI benefits begin shortly after the SSA approves your eligibility. Usually, it takes 1-2 months after the decision for your monthly SSDI and/or SSI benefits to begin. To receive your payment promptly, ensure the SSA has your checking account information for direct deposit.

Your Past-Due Benefit Payment

The processing of your past-due benefit check can take several months from the date of the Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) decision. Typically, it takes 4-6 months for the SSA to process your past-due disability payment check. You will receive a Notice of Award letter from the SSA when they are processing your past-due payment, which provides a breakdown of your past-due benefits.

Does the IRS Tax Past-Due Benefits?

Yes, your past-due benefits may be subject to federal income tax, depending on your overall income level. If your income is above a certain threshold, a portion of your SSDI benefits might be taxable. Therefore, you should consult with a tax professional to understand how this could impact you.

Contact Second Chance Lawyer – Merryl Jones to Speak with a Social Security Disability Attorney About Past-Due Benefits and Get a Free Consultation

Understanding your disability benefits, especially the complex calculations of past-due or backpay benefits, can be overwhelming. The guidance of a knowledgeable social security disability attorney can be invaluable. Reach out to Second Chance Lawyer – Merryl Jones for a free consultation to discuss your case and gain a clearer understanding of your past-due benefits.