When you are awarded Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you might also be entitled to past-due benefits. How much Social Security disability back pay you are due is dependent upon the date you became disabled. The government affords you the right to collect back pay for up to 12 months from the date you applied for disability benefits. (Note, the first five months of your disability are not compensable; there is a five-month waiting period during which benefits are not owed.)

The Impact of Your Disability Onset Date

The date when you allege that you became disabled and no longer could work is called your alleged onset date (AOD). This is an important date because it will impact your back pay check. Let’s say your AOD was May 2013; you applied for benefits in August 2013, and the Social Security Administration (SSA) approved your benefits a year after you applied, in August 2014. This means you will be due back pay for October 2013 (five months after your AOD) to present.

When your application is approved, the SSA will state its established onset date (EOD), which will determine how much back pay you will be paid. The decision maker in your case will look at three factors when determining the EOD.

  • Your AOD on your benefits application
  • Work history
  • Medical evidence

Sometimes there is a discrepancy between your AOD and the EOD. If the SSA determines you were disabled at a later date, you will lose the right to some of your past-due benefits. Using the above example, if the SSA moves your onset date to July 2013, you will lose two months of back pay, which likely will mean missing out on more than $2,000.

Challenging the Established Onset Date

If your AOD and EOD are not the same and you disagree with the decision, you have the right to request a reconsideration of the determination with the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) or the Disability Determination Services (DDS).

If you think you are being wrongly denied benefits, this is an option worth pursuing. However, it’s a technical, complex undertaking, and you run the risk of possibly having your claim denied when the ODAR or DDS reviews your case again. You’ll want to consult a disability lawyer for help determining what route to take and how best to go about taking action.

Consulting with a Patton Brown Law Disability Lawyer in Winston-Salem

For help securing the full amount of disability benefits to which you’re entitled, including Social Security disability back pay, call our disability legal team for assistance. Contact Patton Brown Law in Winston-Salem today for a free consultation at 855-860-2150.