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Date of Onset

The date is onset is the date when you first became disabled. When you apply for Social Security Disability Benefits, you will be asked when your disability started. Your answer to this question will establish your alleged date of onset. After your claim has gone through the process and an adjudicator (usually an administrative law judge or examiner) has approved the date, it becomes the established date of onset.

In some cases, the adjudicator will adjust the date of onset to reflect what they see as a discrepancy between the date of onset you have claimed and the actual date on which you became disabled to the point that you were incapable of gainful employment. This decision is based on a number of factors, including your medical records and any work you performed or attempted after the alleged date of onset.

To qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits, you must suffering from a disabling condition to the point that you are incapable of performing any work which you have done before, or for which you could reasonably be trained. Unlike many disability income insurance programs and Workman’s compensation, you cannot be partially disabled for Social Security Disability Benefits.

It is important to establish the date of onset as far back as you can while still being forthright and truthful. If you are applying for SSDI, your date of onset will determine how much back pay you may be eligible for.

It is often easier to establish a date of onset if you file your Social Security Disability claim shortly after you become disabled. If you have made your disability a matter of record right from the start, it may be easier to establish your disability’s date of onset, especially if you have made your physician aware that you are applying for Social Security Disability Benefits.

Many who qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits do qualify to set their date of onset before they applied for Social Security Disability Benefits, but the onus is on you to prove that you were disabled when you claim that you were. Claiming disability quickly after the disabling condition begins to be a problem means that there will be less backtracking through medical records to try to prove your Social Security Disability case.