What Can I Get in Social Security Disability Back Pay?

Social Security or SS back pay is paid to claimants who are approved for disability benefits but have waited a long time for their disability decision. How much will you receive in SS back pay? Social Security Disability payment amounts vary based on the type of disability benefits awarded, the date your disability began (also called your onset date) and the date you filed your Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income application.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is awarded to claimants who are disabled, blind or aged and have limited income and resources. Claimants awarded Supplemental Security Income benefits may receive back pay retroactively back to the date they filed their Supplemental Security Income application. Does it matter how long you have actually been disabled? No, regardless of when you became disabled, if you are applying for Supplemental Security Income, you will only receive back pay to your application date. It is very important to file your SSI application as soon as you are disabled and unable to work.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is paid to workers who become disabled with a severe mental or physical health condition which is expected to last at least 12 months and does not allow the claimant to be engaged in substantial gainful activity. SSDI claimants are eligible to receive benefits from their onset date (established from their medical records) after a five month waiting period. Additionally, back pay for SSDI will not be paid more than 12 months before the claimant’s SSDI application date. Claimants who are disabled and unable to work with a severe mental or physical health condition should not wait to file their SSDI application. If the claimant’s condition is expected to last at least 12 months, the claimant should file right away. In some cases, waiting too long to file for SSDI will make a claimant ineligible (if they file after their date last insured or DLI).

How much back pay will you receive? The basic Supplemental Security Income amount for 2010 is the same nationwide. It is $674 for one person or $1,011 for a couple. Some states add additional money to the federal SSI payment amount. Some claimants may also have some money subtracted depending on where and with whom they live. SSI back pay is paid in 3 installments which are sent 6 months apart. This is done to help claimants remain under the resource and income thresholds.

Social Security Disability Insurance payments are made in one lump sum payment. If a claimant hired a Social Security Disability lawyer, they are paid their percentage prior to the Social Security Administration releasing the money to the claimant.

So how much can you get in SS back pay? It will depend on several factors such as your application date, the onset date of your disability and the type of disability you are eligible to receive. For questions concerning the exact amount you can receive contact the Social Security Administration.

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