Two Related SSDI Issues Explained: Back Pay And Alleged Onset Dates

Those unable to work at their jobs due to certain medical or mental conditions could be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Not only are applicants in line for monthly SSDI benefits, but they might also have a lump-sum back-pay check provided once they are approved. The amount provided depends on a certain date that has to be verified, Read on to find out more.

What To Know About Back Pay

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides workers with a way to catch up on missed benefits they might have received. From the time you apply for benefits until you are approved, you can wait for many months. That is why one of the most important questions on the application for benefits is the date you last worked. Called the date of last insurance (DLI), it is used to calculate your back pay. For example, if your last day of work was April 30, 2020, and you get approved for benefits on December 31, 2020, that is eight months. Unfortunately, you are not paid the full eight-month sum.

What to Know About The Five-Month Waiting Period

The SSA makes all applicants wait at least five months for their benefits and they don't provide back pay for those months. That means you should subtract five months from the time between your most recent work day and the time you begin to receive benefits. In the above example, your back pay would cover only three months and not the full eight months. Just like the monthly benefit amount you will receive when approved, back pay is based on how much money you earned during a given time period.

When Your DLI Is In Dispute

Unfortunately, the SSA may investigate your DLI and disagree with the date you reported. Often, workers continue to work even after they begin to be affected by their medical condition. While the SSA may allow you to collect retroactive benefit payments, you must put a date down on the application that can be verified by contacting your previous employer. DLI dates can seriously affect the amount of back pay you earn, and care should be taken when filling out the application. If the date is wrong, it might hold up your application while they adjust the date.

If you have been approved for benefits but disagree with your DLI and back-pay benefit, you may need the help of a Social Security Disability attorney. Many applicants, however, don't even get their benefits approved in the first place. Speak to Social Security lawyer for help with your application and for support at your appeal hearing.

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