Social Security Disability - are There Retroactive BenefitsRetroactive disability benefits are available and frequently are paid to both Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance claimants. Why? Because it takes the Federal government so long to process disability claims. The amount a Social Security Disability claimant is eligible to receive will vary.
Social Security Disability Insurance
Social Security Disability Insurance is paid to claimants who are mentally or physically disabled (as determined by the Social Security Administration) and are unable to work for at least 12 months. Social Security Disability Insurance applicants must also have paid Social Security taxes and earned a certain number of work credits (generally 40 credits).
Claimants who qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance may receive retroactive benefits. The amount paid is based on two things: 1) the date the claimant filed their Social Security Disability Insurance claim and 2) the date the Social Security Administration determined the claimant became disabled. This date is called the claimants established disability onset or EOD. The EOD is the date the Social Security Administration decides the claimant stopped performing substantial gainful employment due to their physical or mental health condition.
Social Security Disability claimants may be entitled to SSDI retroactive benefits up to 12 months retroactive to the date of their application. However, Social Security Disability payments are not paid for the claimants first 5 months of disability. The is called the five-month waiting period, and the Social Security Administration claims this helps to make sure that a claimants mental or physical health condition is a long-term disabling impairment.
Supplemental Security Income
Supplemental Security Income is paid to the blind, aged and disabled who have limited income and resources. Supplemental Security Income claimants do not have to be insured by working or paying employment taxes into the Social Security Trust Fund. Supplemental Security Income claimants may be entitled to retroactive benefits only to the date of the Supplemental Security Income application.
The bottom line for both Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance claimants is that the Social Security Disability process can takes months or years to complete. In most cases disability claimants can expect to receive some type of retroactive payment. Social Security Disability claimants who hire a Social Security Disability attorney will have to pay them for their services out of their retroactive payment up to a maximum amount allowed by the Social Security Administration.
Retroactive back pay for both disability programs can be substantial. Social Security Disability Insurance claimants can expect their retroactive payments to be sent in one lump sum (less disability attorneys fees). Supplemental Security Income claimants will have their payments paid in several payments to avoid surpassing the SSI income limit.