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.

D (not verified)
Thu, 11/05/2015 - 16:00 Permalink

Hi Josephine,
You'll need to contact the SSA about this. I am not sure if he is entitled to benefits from 20 years ago, but they will be able to point you in the right direction.

Kelly (not verified)
Thu, 11/05/2015 - 16:00 Permalink

Could someone inform me on how Social Security back pay is computed

Clarke (not verified)
Thu, 11/05/2015 - 16:00 Permalink

Kelly, it is important to note that back pay is distributed differently depending on whether you are approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
If you qualify for SSI benefits, you will be entitled to compensation as far back as your initial application date. If your case lasts a long period of time, you may end up receiving a large amount of back pay.
If you qualify for SSDI benefits, you will be entitled to compensation as far back as your initial application date. Depending on your specific circumstances you may also be entitled to back pay for one year prior to your application date. For SSDI however, there is a five month waiting period that will be subtracted from your total back pay.
For example:
If your claim is approved five months after you apply for benefits, you will not be entitled to Back Pay (5 month approval process, less 5 month waiting period). If your claim is approved a year after application, you will be entitled to seven months of Back Pay (12 month approval process, less 5 month waiting period).
If your claim is approved 24 months after application, your will be entitled to 12 months of Back Pay (even though a 24 month waiting period less a 5 month waiting period is 19 months, the limit for Back Pay is 12 months).
If you are confused at all by this information, check out this page on back pay.
Good luck! I hope I was able to clarify things for you.

mary (not verified)

In reply to by Clarke (not verified)

Sat, 04/16/2016 - 15:37 Permalink

i just got a letter yesterday about being fully approved so whats next? my lawyer said i will get 2yrs back pay, do i wait or go to ss office?

Anonymous (not verified)
Thu, 11/05/2015 - 16:01 Permalink

You are forgeting one issue with SSDI if you go befor a Judge the Judge can approve you to what they called your ON SET DATE..for example you may apply for SSDI say Sept of 2012 but when you 1st file they ask you when did you know you were not able to work anymore so lets say it was May 2010. So the Judge approves you for you being disabled back to again what they call you ONSET DATE so with this example you would get back pay from Oct 2010 to current. SSDI is always one LUMP SUM SSI is paid in INSTALLMETS.

Jay (not verified)
Thu, 11/05/2015 - 16:01 Permalink

I was told by SSA that a decision was made on March 25th 2015. SSA told me that if I hadn't received an approval letter within 15 days of decision that I could call back on the 15th day and they would be allowed to inform me of the decision by phone. My attorneys office told me that they had never heard that before. I'm now 5 days away from that date. As I am terminally ill time is very important. Also I filed 25 months ago and became terminal 1 year after originally filing and my case was then considered dire need and I was then given the hearing date which I attended February 12th 2015. My original application date was March 27th 2013 if that helps any. My onset date was July 1st 2009.

D (not verified)
Thu, 11/05/2015 - 16:01 Permalink

Hi Jay,
I'm so sorry to hear about your illness. I've never heard of being able to call and get an approval over the phone either. Aside from waiting, the only way I've heard of checking the status of your claim is online. You can find it here: https://secure.ssa.gov/apps6z/IAPS/applicationStatus

JoAnn (not verified)
Thu, 11/05/2015 - 16:04 Permalink

My confirmation # was found on the Social Security Administration retirement, survivors and disability insurance form. The form that this letter is is SSA - L2 (9/2008) it's basically has sent the letter they sent me saying they have received my completed application. It gives a telephone number I am not sure where you are but the number but it's giving me is 866-964-1725 and that is for Kern County California and you will be on hold for a while but calling the Social Security Administration office closest to you they will give you your confirmation number so you can log on. I'm not sure if this helped at all but I hope it does and there is a second way to log on to the Social Security website and that is going to the ssa.gov the top right corner it says sign in click on that and set up and online login account and that will actually if you can get it to let you make the account will give you more information than the site you are seeing which is asking for your social security or claim number and confirmation number. I do hope that helps a little bit because if you do have an attorney I dunno after the hearing there not much help good luck

Kim (not verified)
Thu, 11/05/2015 - 16:04 Permalink

Jerry, I am kinda curious to when you will receive your back pay also. My Husband passed away while waiting on SSDI. I continued the case and finally won. (imagine that, he only had to die to win) I was sent the letter of Fully Favorable and was called by the payment center for my daughter's back pay. My letter was dated March 23, 2015. I have not gotten any award letter and calling my local office and the main number has not done anything as far as answers. All were very nice but they did not have any answers either. All I was told is that my daughter was getting a back payment and I would receive the back payment that would have been for my husband. with you going through everything and the time frame I would be curious when you get yours. Good Luck and my prayers are with you.

Randy (not verified)
Thu, 11/05/2015 - 16:04 Permalink

HERE'S ONE FOR THE BOOKS. I HURT MYSELF AT WORK IN MARCH 2013... I GOT WORK COMP RIGHT AWAY. AND THERE IS NO WAY I COULD WORK MY OLD JOB OR ANY JOB ANYMORE. I SHOULD SETTLE W.C. SOON AND START ON MY 3RD PARTY SUIT. I HAVE SO MANY ATTORNEYS I SAID THE HECK WITH IT AND DECIDED TO FILE MY SSDI ON MY OWN AND SAVE 20 PERCENT. I FILED 5 MONTHS AGO AND 2 WEEKS AGO I WAS APPROVED. SINCE I GET 1700.00 A MONTH FROM W.C. I WASN'T EXPECTING MUCH FROM SSDI, BUT TODAY I GET A CHECK FOR 18511.00 .... MY SSDI BENEFITS WITHOUT W.C. BENEFITS IS AROUND 980.00 DID THEY GO BACK TO THE DATE OF INJURY IN 2013 I AM WONDERING OR IS THE GOVERNMENT THAT GRACIOUS. I WAS JUST JUMPING FOR JOY I WAS APPROVED THE FIRST TIME AND I THOUGHT I WOULD GET A THOUSAND DOLLARS AS AN OFFSET FOR W.C. ANYWAY FROM THE DAY I WAS APPROVED IT TOOK 3 WEEKS TO GET THE CHECK...

Eric (not verified)
Thu, 11/05/2015 - 16:04 Permalink

im sorry but you are confusing RETROACTIVE BACK PAY,,,with actual back pay,,,,,,once your established onset day of disability is set,,,,its paid from that point forward....ie example,,,,,i have an onset date of oct4.2012......unless your date is the first or second of the month,,,,,that acual month doesn't count so start with the 5 month waiting period innnov of 2012,,,,,,nov,dec,jan,feb,march,,,,,,,,those are the 5 months,,,,so I started "counting" in april of 2013,,,,,,,im up to 25 months and counting also SS pays for the previous month so you get "march" money in April,,,,youir post is confusing to people that need to hear the truth,,,,,,,,,,that SS only pays 12 months in back pay is so totally wrong......you can get up to 12 months in retroactive pay ,,,,,NOT BACK PAY,,,,,,,,retroactive pay is if you put down on your app that you were disabled in oct 2013,,,,,,,they will go back to oct 2012 which is 12 months before YOU say you were....but back pay goes back to your onset date,,,,,not just 12 months,,,,hope that cleas this confusing post up.......don't get mad ...get the truth,,,and I just posted it

BGolden (not verified)

In reply to by Eric (not verified)

Wed, 03/23/2016 - 18:13 Permalink

Thank you for making that clear. I keep hearing different things from different people and now I see how they are confused too. Now I understand and it is actually good news.

Damian (not verified)

In reply to by Eric (not verified)

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 02:45 Permalink

Thank you for that, the way some of these explanations were coming over were suggesting a SSDI approval with back-pay involved was capped at 12 months at the most. Which my understanding prior was the way you explained it above. Thank you for verifying. Pay attention people to the information out there, you'll drive yourselves nuts with the wrong information if you're not careful!!

Jim (not verified)
Thu, 11/05/2015 - 16:06 Permalink

My wife was awarded full ssdi back to 7/2009 her lawyer received his part 2/12/13 and we havent seen her back pay . She did get her 1st monthly ssdi check 4th week in Feb. 2013 and federal taxes were taken out as requested. So what to do?

D (not verified)
Thu, 11/05/2015 - 16:06 Permalink

Jim, I suggest you contact the representative who handles your wife's claim. He or she will be able to let you know what is happening with your wife's back pay. Good luck!

Nellie (not verified)
Thu, 11/05/2015 - 16:06 Permalink

My husband was fully awarded SSDI on 1/25/2013 and received his award letter on 2/5/13. We applied immediately for SSI for our 2 small children on 2/14/13 and received their back pay for 2 years just 2 days after the phone application process, which was directly deposited into our checking account on a Saturday morning, however, we have yet to receive his actual SSDI back pay for him, which is somewhere around $35K. The attorneys were paid 4 weeks ago, and we've called SSA several times, only to get different answers each time. One person told us it can take 90 days from the day he was awarded. Another rep told us it can take 60 days from the date of the award letter. We were told in another conversation with SSA that it had not been processed because they had to ensure he hadn't filed for SSI for himself or any State benefits while he was in pending status. The rep said everything was clear with him and it could be processed and that it was a good thin he called because it was just "sitting there" so to speak. After reading horror stories online, I've had my husband call and stay on them because as I said, there have been many answers given over the past couple of months and today we were told that it should process 45 days after the award letter was issued, which was 2/5/13. The rep also said that today is only 43 days and that if we don't have anything by Friday, then to call on Monday and she can send a message to the processing center but if she sends a message too soon, it could cause a delay. So confused as to what to believe....hate to stop calling as we found out already it was just sitting there and it wouldn't have been "pushed forward" had we not called. We have things we need to take care of as well as a nice get away because of all we have endured the past 3 years with his disability and the claim process, appeal and so forth...I paid for our vacation when I got our income tax, assuming we'd have the back pay for our spending money by now...vacation is in 32 days. Yikes!!! Cross your fingers for us and say a prayer as well, I'm biting my nails....and SSA is a pain to deal with already!

Dianne (not verified)

In reply to by Nellie (not verified)

Thu, 03/10/2016 - 12:20 Permalink

My husband got his award letter an was told how much he would be getting each month an how much back pay he he would get . The lawyer has been played an my husband is still waiting. He was also told 2 different things .that his back pay will be let go in about 60days .Today he was told they were still calculating it we are going to be homeless by the end of the month is there anything he can do to get his back pay sooner

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