If work has become impossible because of an illness, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This benefit is paid in monthly payments but you might be entitled to something known as back pay. Back pay results in a large single payment after you are approved and is on top of your regular monthly benefits. To find out more about this highly-anticipated lump-sum payment, read on.
A Long Time Coming
The application and approval process for Social Security is very long. After you apply, it takes months and months before you might hear the results. Once you are unable to work, it's important that you apply for benefits as soon as possible. Your last day of work is an important date with the approval process since it determines your back pay. You might hear this date referred to as the alleged onset date (AOD) by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Proving the EOD
You must show the SSA that you were medically qualified before benefits are approved. The illness that caused you to quit your job and seek benefits is proven by showing that you sought medical attention for it. The SSA will investigate the validity of the date by contacting your previous employer and requesting medical records. If the date checks out and they agree with it, it automatically becomes known as the established onset date (EOD) and your back pay is calculated beginning with that date.
Five-Month Waiting Period
Unfortunately, the SSA imposes a five-month wait for all applicants. That means that the time between your EOD and the date the SSA approves your benefits is decreased by five months. During this five-month period, no benefits are paid and none are eligible to be accrued as back pay. Here is an example: If your EOD is January 1st, 2019 and you get approved for benefits on August 1st, 2019, your back pay would be for two months only rather than the seven months between January and August.
Back Pay and Attorney Help
Back pay serves as more than a welcome infusion of money – it can help you get approved for benefits. Most SSA applicants get turned down for benefits and have to take their case to an appeal hearing. If you are owed back pay, you can take advantage of a valuable and beneficial program approved by the SSA that allows applicants to be represented at the appeal hearing without having to pay the attorney up front. Once you are turned down, be sure not to just give up. Speak to Social Security Disability attorneys about your appeal and get the benefits you deserve.