What are Disability Payback & Retroactive Benefits?

What is Disability Payback?

Disability claims take a long time to process, so many times claimants will receive back pay for the benefits they would have received if they had been approved earlier. If you are eligible for back pay with Social Security Disability Insurance, you will collect one lump sum of aid after you are accepted into the program. This amount is calculated starting from the first full month after you filed for benefits, or when it was established you could no longer work.

Timing is Everything

  1. Date of Filing: The amount of back pay that you receive will depend on when you file your disability application. This is also important when it comes to “retroactive benefits”, which are another form of back pay.
  2. Protective Filing Date: Express your intent to file for Social Security by calling or mailing a formal letter, and you will secure a protective filing date. If you are not sure that your condition will last, you should consider notifying the SSA that you plan to formally file once you have more information about your ailment. This protects your eligibility status and may set you up for a higher back pay than if you had waited to formally file for assistance. Clearly state that you plan to formally apply in six months, follow through at that time, and your date will be on record.
  3. Disability Onset Date: This is the date your doctor agrees you became disabled. If your EOD was established 17 months before you filed for benefits, you can receive a maximum of 12 months of retroactive benefits. You will be paid for the time before you applied, if it is proven that you were in fact disabled 17 months prior. Why 17 months? This accounts for the five month grace period.

Why It Matters to Apply ASAP

There is a five month grace period after you file for disability that must pass before you can receive benefits. If you were found disabled in May, applied a year ago that same month and were accepted this May, you could hypothetically collect back pay for the past seven months. Ultimately, after the grace period, you should receive assistance for those months you were kept waiting. Setting up a protective filing date holds your place and will be treated as an actual filing date as far as back pay goes. Sending in a protective date is a no brainer!

There is no limit to how much back pay aid you can receive, but timing is indeed very telling of how much aid you will obtain from SSA. When you become injured or if you are already injured, gather your medical records and send in an intent to file by phone or mail. Or better yet, file for disability as soon as you can. The more diligent you are about when you file for disability benefits, the better chances you have of receiving more support.

If you would like more information about the back pay or when you can expect to be rewarded, call us at 1-800-248-1100 to discuss your claim.