SSDI length of time for back pay?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 11/18/2012 - 00:19

When I initially met with my attorney, I was told that back pay would go back one year from application, minus 5 months (I had already waited over 2 years to file because I was told I would have "full recovery" after my 2 fusion surgeries). I've received my acceptance letter but not my back pay yet, and during my search for more info on the process I came across a SSDI page stating that even if it takes 24 months for your claim to get approved, you can only receive pay for 12 months. Can anybody help clarify this for me please? Also, I have friends who received their back pay before or immediately after their approval letters (NY), but I've seen posts by people saying it took several months so I was wondering if there was a formula for when I can expect mine? I'm not looking to go on a spending spree, but I have a mortgage, car payment, property and school taxes, and children to feed and clothe as well as one in an expensive college. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and all input is appreciated.

Anonymous (not verified)
Tue, 10/27/2015 - 13:42 Permalink

I was injured in April 2015 and applied for SSD benefits in May 2015 and awarded benefits in September 2015 am I do any backpay?

Sherry (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 02:49 Permalink

You're due, I believe, 3 months back pay.
My 8 year old son just started getting social security and the way they calculated his went like this: I initially applied in April 2016 and was granted it for him in October 2016. They give your back pay in 3 payments spread 6 months apart. The first 2 back pay payments are not allowed to be more then 3 times your monthly amount, so they take however much was awarded per month and times that by 3 and that is the amount the first payment will be, then 6 months after the first payment they will release a 2nd back pay payment of the same amount as the first, then 6 months from the 2nd payment they release a 3rd and final payment which will be for whatever is left over still owed to you. They do not count the month you applied in as one of your months. So when I applied in March they didn't count March. They only counted from April to October. So we got a back pay award for 6 months. We got our first back pay on 19th October. And were due our 2nd on April 19th 6 months from the first payment.

So, in my opinion, I believe they should owe you 4 months worth. From May to September is 5 months, take away May leaves June, July, August, and September...4 months. Take the amount you were awarded per month and times it by 3. Thats your first payment amount, then they'll send you the rest in a 2nd payment 3 months 3rd payment because you'll get 3 months worth the first payment then one month worth in the 2nd payment!

Sorry if I seem to be babbling lol I tend to over explain sometimes.

Lisa v (not verified)

In reply to by Sherry (not verified)

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 20:44 Permalink

Did you receive your 2nd payment on time or did you have to call your case worker to release your funds?

Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Lisa v (not verified)

Mon, 03/26/2018 - 13:16 Permalink

My daughter recd her 2nd back pay on time. I just received my fully favorable letter for SSD. It goes back to May 2013. The back pay will be significant. They still have to do it in 3 payments?

Peggy (not verified)

In reply to by Sherry (not verified)

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 16:55 Permalink

Is this true? So even though I’ve already waited over 2 1/2 years, I’m still going to wait another 1 1/2 years to receive the bulk of my backpayment? This is rediculous? I have huge bills I need to pay and have waited too long already. Do you have a link where it says the payments have to be 6 months apart and no more than 3 times monthly payment? Is there anything we can legally do about this?


In reply to by Peggy (not verified)

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 13:05 Permalink

Hi Peggy,
If you're receiving SSI benefits, then you would receive lump sums six months apart. You can also contact your local SSA office regarding this, they may be able to expedite your back pay if you are in dire need.

Brandee (not verified)

In reply to by Bryan

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 06:56 Permalink

I git my first payment and my first month and is still haven't gotten my letter I found out I git it by online SSI account I know I got a fully favorable decision but no clue the full amount or my official letter is this normal

Cass (not verified)

In reply to by Peggy (not verified)

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 17:00 Permalink

You can bring in receipts and they wil release the money to u they told me i cld do that for bills and stuff

Tai (not verified)

In reply to by Peggy (not verified)

Sat, 01/27/2018 - 23:07 Permalink

No it's true you will have to wait. 3 payments paid in installments of every 6 months. I know it is ridiculous!


In reply to by Tai (not verified)

Tue, 01/30/2018 - 09:31 Permalink

Hi Tai,
The SSA pays out benefits like this to ensure that the recipient is able to stay below the income and financial resource limits while receiving the back pay.

Jess (not verified)

In reply to by Tai (not verified)

Tue, 01/30/2018 - 12:22 Permalink

Actually once processed and first payment hits, you can submit a request for an amount (i requested $11k) for a vehicle. They will approve the request or deny. That is how I got most of the backpay.


In reply to by Jess (not verified)

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 15:47 Permalink

Hi Jess,
Thanks for sharing! It's important for people to know that the SSA can expedited benefits for dire need.

Ms. Rosado (not verified)

In reply to by Sherry (not verified)

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 22:00 Permalink

I love how you break down the details. Its very helpful. My son was just awarded (bogus: $27,890.50) on 01/11/18. He received a check for $2k on 01/19/18. How can this be possible? How can were determine the next payment(s)? Sorry, In trying to understand this. Could you please help me figure this out about the 6mths payment? Thank you.


In reply to by Ms. Rosado (not verified)

Mon, 01/22/2018 - 09:32 Permalink

Hi Ms Rosado,
Thank you! If your child receives benefits based on income, his back pay would be paid out in three installments six months apart with a max of $2000 for the first two and the third consisting of the rest of the back pay. You may want to contact a local SSA office regarding this.

Danny Salazar (not verified)

In reply to by Ms. Rosado (not verified)

Mon, 04/02/2018 - 19:01 Permalink

I got awarded benfits on Jan 2017 never got back pay. Previously applied july 14 2014 been disabled since sep1 2012. Got denied back pay. What do i do now???

Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 06:42 Permalink

I was diagnosed with CRVO on 12-15-2015. I still worked 40 hrs a week all year in 2016 because I had to. I was not yet eligible for regular social security benefits. I was 61 yrs old at that time. I turned 62 yrs old 5-31-2016. I filed for regular social security benefits & started receiving monthly pay January 2017. I cut my hours to 32 hrs per week. Then on 4-27-2017 I applied for social security disability & cut my hrs to 15 hrs per week. I was approved 10-03-2017. On my award letter Social Security has my disability started 4-18-2017. But actually my disability started 12-15-2015. Will i receive anything extra like back payment or retroactive payments?
I have since been terminated from my job on 10-25-2017


In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Tue, 10/31/2017 - 09:06 Permalink

Hi there,
The SSA determines when you are eligible for back pay based on the Established Onset Date, which can vary from when you became disabled.

Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Bryan

Thu, 10/31/2019 - 14:49 Permalink

Just had a hearing and my Established onset date is 12-16-15 . how much is this with full benefits ?


In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Fri, 11/01/2019 - 11:48 Permalink

Hi There,

Each case is different! There are a variety of factors that contribute to you benefits amount (like cost of living, medications needed, etc.). Your rewards letter should tell you how much you'll be receiving.

Jeronisha Nelson (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 15:10 Permalink

1-4-20 The processing center stating looking waiting on my Disability back pay when you think it would come

Anonymous (not verified)
Tue, 10/27/2015 - 15:41 Permalink

My daughter was turned down 2 x in the past she got a disability lawyer finally approved she applied...9/2012....
..Approved. Aug 2015 Does That mean that she would get all that Back pay ..from 9/2012 Til now.


In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Wed, 10/28/2015 - 09:36 Permalink

Hi there,
It sounds like she will! That is a long time to wait. Assuming she didn't restart the claim from the beginning, she should be eligible for a couple of years of back pay.

Janica Barnes (not verified)

In reply to by Deanna

Fri, 06/02/2017 - 02:05 Permalink

Yes that's the same as me. I've been fight since 4/2014 and they just approved me 4/2017 I am receiving back pay for every month they missed. The only thing is I don't know when the back pay is coming or how much each installment will be . Any advice?


In reply to by Janica Barnes (not verified)

Fri, 06/02/2017 - 15:01 Permalink

Hi Jessica,

I am sorry to hear that. You should reach out to the SSA regarding how much each installment will be. As for the length its not always black and white since cases vary from type to type.

Best of Luck,


In reply to by Jan (not verified)

Mon, 11/09/2015 - 09:36 Permalink

Hi Jan,
This could be true. It would depend on when your Established Onset Date (EOD) is. Your EOD is when the SSA decides you became disabled. It's often when people apply, but the judge could push it forward.

Diane (not verified)

In reply to by Deanna

Sat, 12/17/2016 - 23:38 Permalink

I applied in 2013 oct. Was denied 2 times finally went to alj hearing aug 2016 and judge pushed my EOD to july 2015 i was sent to CE with orthopedic doctor alj [judge] recieved new evidence put on record. And now im waiting for approval letter my lawyer said 45-60 working days for letter about past tht. Now my question is. Do they take this long to tell you your not approved or what

Dianne (not verified)

In reply to by Bryan

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 07:45 Permalink

I applied 7/2013 had a hearing 11/15/2016 got my approval letter 2/2017 it's monthly check is scheduled for 3/22/2017 no idea when my back pay will arrive local office told me it could take 6 months due to short staff and number of trainees.


In reply to by Dianne (not verified)

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 10:24 Permalink

HI Dianne,
Thanks for sharing! Generally it takes around four months for back pay to arrive after the start of monthly benefits.

Teresa (not verified)

In reply to by Bryan

Tue, 03/14/2017 - 10:05 Permalink

Hi Dianne

I applied for SSDI and SSD both June 26, 2011 and my initial date that they put I filed for it was November 29, 2011 and was denied 3× but had an Appeal hearing August 9, 2016 .... Was finally awarded SSDI and SSD both ... I received a letter in the mail January 18, 2017 stating that the Decision = Fully Favorable
March 8, 2017 I received a check for the backpay ( lump sum )
March 13, 2017 ( yesterday ) I received a letter from SSA letting me know that I would be receiving a check for the backpay and how much it would be ... And letting me know how much each monthly payment will be etc ...... Kind of backwards right ??? Lol but finally I can get my bills paid

Michelle (not verified)

In reply to by Teresa (not verified)

Fri, 03/31/2017 - 02:49 Permalink

Can anyone tell me if there backpack is going all the way back or just a year.

Phillip Ledbetter (not verified)

In reply to by Teresa (not verified)

Sat, 04/08/2017 - 11:36 Permalink

Did your lump sum check, you referred to, come as a check in the mail? Or direct deposit in your checking account?

I case is similar in terms of years, months, process and decision

Thank you, kindly -- God Bless!!!


In reply to by Phillip Ledbetter (not verified)

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 16:14 Permalink

Hi Phillip,
The SSA may direct deposit your lump sum into the account you had specified, if you had done so.

blossom (not verified)

In reply to by Teresa (not verified)

Tue, 07/04/2017 - 19:56 Permalink

Happy for you, my husband just got approved, after being turned down he filed Jan 2016, SSDI chg EOD to 02.01.17. Doesn't seem fair, but what can you say.

Sherry (not verified)

In reply to by Bryan

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 02:55 Permalink

My 8 year old son was approved in October 2016 after waiting only 6 months from beginning to end and we got his first of 2 pack pay installments on October 19th 2016, then his first monthly benefits payment on November 1st 2016.

Joan (not verified)

In reply to by Bryan

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 09:36 Permalink

Good luck on getting back pay. My monthly payments started in May. I am still waiting for the back pay. Found out the lawyer was paid. I call almost every day now and receive excuse after excuse. I would like to know who to call to complain. You can't call the payment center on SS office.


In reply to by Joan (not verified)

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 15:47 Permalink

Hi Joan,
You may also want to contact the office of the lawyer that had worked with you as well, they may have more information about your back pay.

Thomas (not verified)

In reply to by Bryan

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 13:39 Permalink

I been trying to get my social security since 2012.i just got approved on July 18,2017 how far will they go back on my back pay


In reply to by Thomas (not verified)

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 17:00 Permalink

Hi Thomas,

Generally you will receive back pay that goes back to the initial date you filed for disability.


Duane (not verified)

In reply to by Eric

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 10:56 Permalink

Back pay goes back to your initial filing date, but Retro pay is also possible and goes back to a year before you filed your claim. I just wanted to clear that up as I see some confusion .

Sara (not verified)

In reply to by Duane (not verified)

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 08:05 Permalink

I recently just got approved on Oct 26 had a phone interview on Nov 6 I was told that they can pay you from your onset date of disablity and from the date you applied. I applied in June 2017 and my onset date is 12/15/2015 was told that my back pay will on be paid from June 2016 to now. So basically they are paying me back pay 12 months before my initial application of June 2017

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