SSDI back pay is an essential aspect of disability benefits designed to make up for the time lost during the approval process. Essentially, it’s meant to make up for the payments you would have received had your application for SSDI been approved immediately. There are some limitations to the amount, so you may find yourself not getting as much back pay as you expected.
Regardless of how much back pay you’ll actually receive, it’s important to know when to expect that back pay to come in. The answer can vary quite a bit as every case is different based on a variety of factors. Learn all you need to know about when you can expect to receive SSDI back pay.
From Approval to Payment
Back pay does not come immediately after approval in most cases, but it can be deposited in your bank account before you’re even alerted of your approval. Regardless of the speed of your particular case, you can expect to see back pay payments show up in your account no more than 60 days after the date of approval. SSDI back pay is deposited as a lump sum as well, so you won’t have the issue of receiving the back pay in installments as you would with SSI.
For several years now, the Social Security Administration has generally required back pay and SSDI benefits to be deposited online in a bank account. They’re not going to mail you a check or any other form of cash, so you have to have a bank account open before you can start receiving benefits. The convenience of electronic direct deposit is particularly useful as you can check the status of your account and payments directly from your computer or smartphone.
Back Pay and Beyond
There are a few rules surrounding how back pay works. Put simply, you can only get back pay if your approval process took longer than five months. The Social Security Administration has given itself that leeway period since processing claims generally takes about five months. That means if you get approved for SSDI within five months of your initial application, you won’t be entitled to any back pay whatsoever. If you get approved for SSDI within nine months of your application, however, that means you’ll get back pay for the four months after the initial five.
After you receive your back pay within 60 days of your application’s approval, you can pursue even more retroactive payments. Back pay works by measuring the time of established onset date of your disability to the date of approval minus the five-month leeway period. Your established onset date or EOD is assumed to be the date of your application by default, but it doesn’t have to be. You can argue to push your EOD back further before your application date.
When you push your EOD back before your application date, you could be entitled to retroactive payments. This form of back pay can leave you entitled to even more benefits, but there are limits and restrictions. In order to successfully challenge your EOD, you’ll have to provide medical evidence demonstrating your disability before your application date. Even with this evidence, they’re not going to award you any retroactive benefits greater than 12 months before your application date. That means if the EOD of your disability is 14 months prior to your application date, you’ll have to go without compensation for those extra two months.
When to Expect Retroactive Payments
The date in which you receive your retroactive payments depends on when you successfully challenge your EOD. Since retroactive payments are treated like additional back pay, they are typically awarded at any time from immediately after your challenge is approved and 60 days from the approval date. Of course, like back pay, there are instances in which it will take even longer, but that’s not very common.
Hire a Disability Attorney
Making sure you get your back pay and retroactive payments on time and even qualifying in the first place can be much easier with help from a disability attorney. For quality service in Atlanta, Georgia, look no further than Joel Thrift Law. Our team specializes in Social Security Disability Insurance and are always happy to help you get the benefits you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.