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SSDI - Approval after SSDI denial, will I get back pay?

SSDI or Social Security Disability Insurance is a wage replacement system offered by the Federal Government and administered by the Social Security Administration. Monthly cash benefits are offered through SSDI to disabled workers, their dependent children, their spouse and potentially a divorced spouse.

Unfortunately, the requirements to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance are very strict and most workers who apply will not be approved. The goal of SSDI is to help disabled workers recover and return to useful employment, but it is not offered for short-term or partial disabilities.

What happens if my Social Security Disability Insurance case is denied?

After a claimant submits their SSDI application to the Social Security Administration (SSA) the SSA has 30 to 120 days to review the case. If the applicant is approved the SSA will send them an acceptance letter detailing their estimated date of payment and payment amount. If the claimants case is denied the denial letter will detail why they were denied and steps they can take to appeal the SSDI denial using the SSA appeals process.

Submitting an Appeal for my SSDI case

If the claimant wishes to appeal their denial they must submit a Request for Reconsideration by completing form (SSA-561).  The reconsideration form includes the claimant’s name, Social Security number, the type of claim that they are appealing (listed on the notice of decision), the claim number (listed on the notice of decision), the reason for the appeal, the claimant’s address and the contact information for the claimant’s disability lawyer, if they have hired one.

Back pay for Appealed SSDI cases

Because the application and subsequent appeals process can take weeks, months or years many SSDI claimants wonder if they will get any type of retroactive payments or back pay.

For Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) the claimant can be paid retroactive SSDI benefits for the 12 months prior to the date of the application (less the 5 month waiting period) but only if they have evidence that they were disabled this far back, which means there is medical evidence to verify this assumption, and they were not performing what the SSA considers substantial gainful activity. Remember, you will not be considered disabled at any time prior to the date that you stopped working at a substantial level. This date is referred to as your established onset date or EOD.

Now, retroactive payments should not be confused with back pay. Even if you cannot prove your SSDI disability started prior to your application date and you are not paid retroactive payments, you may still be paid back pay. Back pay can accumulate from your date of application all the way until you are finally approved, regardless of how many appeal steps you take.

Keep in mind, however, back pay is only paid for the MOST RECENT SSDI disability application (unless a judge made some sort of adjustment). For instance, if you applied and were denied but you filed a new application, instead of appealing the old application, the back pay would be paid from the most recent Social Security Disability Insurance application, not the first application.





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