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With many disabilities, you may not even realize that you have lost your ability to work or that the thing preventing you from working is a disability until months after you’ve stopped working. At that point, you should apply for Social Security Disability Insurance—or SSDI—but can you get disability benefits for months prior to applying? You actually can and this is commonly referred to as SSDI back pay. Tabak Law can help you learn how SSDI back pay is determined and how you can estimate what it will be yourself.

How is SSDI back pay Determined?

Basically, if you want to determine back pay, you have to take into consideration something called your established onset date, which is also referred to as an EOD. Note, this can be different from the date you stated as your onset date in your initial paperwork.

What is Your Established Onset Date?

Your established onset date is the date the Social Security determines your disability made it so that you were unable to work. In determining this date the Social Security Administration or SSA will look at multiple factors including the date you included on your initial paperwork—typically referred to as an alleged onset date—your work history, and any medical evidence that was provided or discovered.

Another thing to keep in mind is that to be eligible for benefits at all, it must be determined that you will be unable to work for at least a total of 12 consecutive months. This means that if you are expected to recover, your established onset date could be very important to whether or not you are going to receive any benefits at all.

What is Changing for SSDI in 2023?

How to Calculate Your SSDI Back Pay

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When determining back pay, you are going to start with your EOD and count the number of months between it and the date that you were approved for benefits. Note that the actual date that you applied for benefits doesn’t matter here. However, your amount of total back pay benefits is limited to a maximum of 12 months.

There is a further wrinkle in this math known as the wait period. SSDI benefits require you to be disabled for 5 months before you can collect any benefits at all. The good news is this does not count as part of your 12-month maximum back pay benefit. For example, if your EOD was 15 months prior to your approval date after you subtract 5 months from that for your wait period, you will still receive 10 months of back pay. Alternatively, if 20 months have passed from EOD to the approval date, 20 minus 5 is 15, which is more than the 12-month maximum, so you will still only receive 12 months of back pay.

Read More: 5 Social Security Disability Myths

Let Tabak Law Help You Get the SSDI Benefits You Deserve!

If you need help getting your SSDI benefits, and you think you are entitled to back pay, then put Tabak Law on the case. It’s Tabak for the Payback, and we are ready to fight for your benefits even if you have been denied. Reach out to us today for a free case review!

Nothing posted on this website is intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. Blog postings and site content are available for general education purposes only.

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