How are SSI and SSDI back payments calculated?

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How are SSI and SSDI back payments calculated?


People who file for benefits from one of the social security programs know how long the process can take for them to be approved and start receiving payments. It can take months, if not years, to complete the process of being approved for SSDI or SSI, leaving many applicants struggling to make ends meet and cover medical expenses.

However, once the court decides in their favor, people can experience better financial circumstances when they are awarded back payments that are rightfully owed to them. They can determine the total amount of money to which they are entitled by knowing how these back payments are calculated.

Back Payment from Date of Application

People who are eligible for SSDI can receive back payments that extend back to the actual date of their application for these benefits. If it took two years to be approved for benefits, people will receive two years’ worth of back payments, along with the current monthly payment that they are entitled to right now.

The back payment will be based on the current amount that they are expected to receive each month. If they are approved for $1,000 per month, they will receive a payment of $24,000 to compensate them for the two years during which their application was pending.

Back Payment from Date of Disability

People who are approved for SSDI or SSI can receive back payments from the date of their disability. If they became disabled two years ago but did not apply for benefits until a year later, they could receive payments from the original date of their disability rather than their application date.

When they fill out their application, people must include the date that they suspect that they first became disabled. If this information can be proved and approved by the court, they will receive payments from this date rather than from the day they put in their application or the date upon which they were approved for benefits.

Five-Month Waiting Period

Some people who are awarded disability benefits are subject to a five-month waiting period when it comes to their back payments. They will receive the money that is owed to them minus the first five months after the date that their disability began. For example, if their disability began a year ago, they will receive seven months’ worth of payments rather than the full year.

Along with understanding how back payments are calculated, people who want to apply for these benefits can also bolster their claims by hiring an attorney to help them during the application process. A lawyer who specializes in disability law can help people get all of the money that is owed to them and shorten the amount of time that their case might languish in court until they are approved.

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