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.


In reply to by Jeff Beach (not verified)

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 10:09 Permalink

Hi Jeff,
The average wait time for an ALJ hearing is 17 months, so it seems your hearing is coming up faster than many others.

Jeff (not verified)

In reply to by Bryan

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 10:29 Permalink

Brain thanks so much I hope it soon... do u think I'll be approved I'm stressing alot.. my last post was number 50


In reply to by Jeff (not verified)

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 12:05 Permalink

Hi Jeff,
I really could not say, as we are not affiliated with the SSA or the federal government and as such don't have any information about specific disability cases.

Chris Cal (not verified)
Mon, 01/23/2017 - 10:29 Permalink

On my Social Security page it says under payment detail the date of 1-23-17 one time payment and the #. Does this mean the money has been sent out on the 23rd?

Bethy (not verified)
Mon, 01/23/2017 - 11:17 Permalink

I received a partial and have had my SSDI benefits since September 2015. They originally said my onset date was Jan 2015 so I appealed because I've been sick since Jan 2009. It seemed to have went well. My question is how long after judge makes a decision would back pay be deposited into my account?


In reply to by Bethy (not verified)

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 12:06 Permalink

Hi there,
It generally takes about four months after you receive monthly benefits for the SSA to send back pay.

chris Calaitges (not verified)

In reply to by Bryan

Mon, 01/30/2017 - 08:27 Permalink

I received my back pay for 3 years 1 month after my decision and 1 month before payments are to begin. Also I haven't received my award letter yet. I feel very lucky after reading all the posts how it takes 4 months.


In reply to by chris Calaitges (not verified)

Tue, 01/31/2017 - 14:29 Permalink

Hi Chris,
back payments may be expedited based on a documented need, so that may be the case for you.

Anonymous (not verified)
Thu, 01/26/2017 - 07:06 Permalink

I got all my letters first check start Feb 1st 2017,so when willbi get back pay, already got letter on payment for my lawyer


In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Thu, 01/26/2017 - 16:16 Permalink


For us to give you the most accurate information, can you please provide us with a little bit more information regarding your case.

Best Wishes,

Anonyous (not verified)
Thu, 01/26/2017 - 13:19 Permalink

I originally applied for SSDI 2003, my case was mishandled by my attorney and had to start the process all over again with another attorney in 2004. Was denied twice by the same ALJ, then was told by my attorney at the time he didn't handle federal law cases. So I had 45 days to find an attorney that did federal cases, luckily for me I did and was able to get my case in on time. All in all it took me 12 years to finally win my case! I started receiving my monthly benefits in May 2016 and received my award letter right away stating I would be receiving my back pay that the judge allotted me going back to 2008, which is a rather large amount of money within 45 days. A letter arrived from my attorney notifying me that he had been paid his fee back in October 2016. I didn't receive this letter until Dec.2016. It has been 8 months and I have been to the local SSA office and have called every two weeks since to check on the statis of my back pay. The answer I receive from the same person is that," it is in the payment center and that I don't need to keep calling, that there are only so many of them and 30,000,00 disability cases." And may I add she doesn't say it very nicely. I was told by someone to call my congressman, but I'm not sure what they may be able to do for me. I waited 14 years to win my case and I feel I shouldn't have to wait any longer. I never received SSI or unemployment so there is no reason for them to be holding up my back pay! How much longer am I going to have to wait????

Mom (not verified)
Thu, 01/26/2017 - 17:43 Permalink

My ex applied for DI in 2014. He was denied 2x, and finally met with a judge on Jan 11th, 2017.
The judge only awarded back pay for 6 months, not the full 3 years. Minus out lawyers fee from that.
I am waiting for child support, he has the paperwork ready to turn in, and I filed with the state in 2014. Will I get back child support from his lump sum, will they take his funds, or should I not expect any back CS? He said it should be about $700 for both children each month. I don't know when and what to expect or if I should be doing anything with state to let them know.Thank you.


In reply to by Mom (not verified)

Wed, 02/01/2017 - 09:38 Permalink

Hi there,
Child support varies by state, so you may want to contact the office in your state that oversees child support.

Mom (not verified)

In reply to by Bryan

Fri, 02/03/2017 - 16:11 Permalink

I'm in CA. He's in OR

penny golden (not verified)
Sun, 01/29/2017 - 11:39 Permalink

Hi steve
I filed a reconsideration in august 2015 and for some reason i had to do a walk in to check on my status after getting the run around on the phone. Finally had to go in office on oct, 14 2016. And the exzaminer had it sitting on er desk for know apparent reason that could see everything was completed. left thinking she was going to do her job. but found out it was still sitting on her desk as of jan, 27, 217. when i again went in to the office. finally after checking status on line today it is finally at the medical detremination office. she caim she was going to exspidetite it. Can you tell me why it took to years please. very upset with the examiner for procrastnting and i had done my part almost two years ago.


In reply to by penny golden (not verified)

Tue, 01/31/2017 - 17:04 Permalink

Hi Penny,
Disability claims can take a long time due to the amount of volume that the SSA receives, in fact for an ALJ hearing it takes 17 months on average to be scheduled.

Tiesha (not verified)
Mon, 01/30/2017 - 01:19 Permalink

I applied in auguest 2016 I'm still waiting for them to give me a answer if I'm approved or denied how long it takes for a answer


In reply to by Tiesha (not verified)

Mon, 01/30/2017 - 17:13 Permalink

Hi Tiesha,

I am really sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, there is no set time frame for a Social Security or SSI disability claim to be approved or denied. The length of time it takes to make a disability determination depends on a broad range of variables, including how many times you have to go through the disability process (initial claim, reconsideration, and hearing)

Best Wishes,

unknown (not verified)

In reply to by Tiesha (not verified)

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 11:32 Permalink

I think it varies case to case, I applied around the same time you did and still waiting it is very frustrating especially when you can't work and pay bills. If you have a lawyer you can ask them if they heard anything . but it is just a waiting game, I seen some get approved right away and some it takes yrs. I have a lawyer and still waiting. Good luck with your case

Anonymous (not verified)
Thu, 02/02/2017 - 19:06 Permalink

I was trying to see if they was going to pay me back for five month that I was cut off..they cut the first check for 2200 so I'm trying to see is they going to give me the rest and y did they cut the monthly check down to 415 for the first month of been me!!!


In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 16:41 Permalink

Hi there,
The SSA may adjust your benefits amount depending on your income, if you're working or receiving in-kind support ( such as someone paying for your rent, food, transportation, ect) you may not be eligible for the full benefit amount.

Jennifer (not verified)
Sun, 02/05/2017 - 00:59 Permalink

Hello everyone! I have currently been fighting for my benefits for 3 1/2 years. I have had a hearing, was denied. Took case to Federal court, it was remanded back to the same judge, who clearly did not like me or believe me, which is terrible, I have no idea why and at this point don't even care what the reason is. All I know is the ALJ lied in both of my denials about things she said I said that I never did, twisted my words around, left out my current pain doctors treatment of me and said after I was no longer seeing my prior pain management Dr my primary Dr took over. That is a huge lie. I have been with my current pain Dr a year now and she had his records and did not mention his name or treatments once! She gave me no credit and dismissed all of my doctors and one of her own that said I met a listing, but gave great weight to one of her doctors that said I can work a 40 hour work week with minimal breaks. Restrictions of the psychiatrist are that I have to work alone and not near a boss etc. The doctor that she gives great weight to is a gastroenterologist for 30 years. If I were to call his office and ask to make an appointment for my back pain, he would turn me away because he doesn't specialize in back pain, so why was this doctor even at my hearing??? Has anyone ever filied a complaint against an ALJ? I want justice to be served. I have records upon records and my Dr's are very reputable. The ALJ completly abused her authority. I am losing my house. My husband and I put down $90,000 our whole life savings. He lost his job of 7 years 2 weeks before my first hearing and hasn't been able to fine a good stable job since then. We exhausted our savings his 401k, my pension and we have nothing to fall back on and he doesn't make anywhere near what he used to. We have 3 children that are suffering terribly from all of this. It has become so bad that if it wernt for my husband and kids I would have already taken my life. I'm so angry because I don't even know how she got away with this. Didn't anyone listen to the hearing tape and compare it to her denial letters, it's proof right there that she lied and twisted so many things. We hit rock bottom. I'm 3 months behind on all the bills. My health insurance was just turned off due to non payment. I should not be suffering to live because I cannot work and I got a judge that abused her authority. Does anyone have any advice or answers that can help me. My case is at the appeals council again. The AP Council denied me the first time and a federal judge dismissed their decision and remanded it. So I know they are not on my side and I do not have anytime left to keep fighting for what I should have had 3 years ago. Can anyone help or give me advice on anything I can do. About this? If you do please help me and share your knowledge with me. I'm so desperate at this point. Justice needs to be served!!! Thank you again

jasmine (not verified)
Tue, 02/07/2017 - 09:46 Permalink

I was turn off for 5 months and they sent me the first back pay it was 2205.00 so I'm trying to see if they going to send me another check..........and y did they cut the money down from 733 to 413 I don't understand that either


In reply to by jasmine (not verified)

Tue, 02/07/2017 - 11:36 Permalink

HI Jasmine,
If you're on SSI benefits, the SSA may adjust your benefit amount due to the income that you earn.

Geraldine (not verified)
Tue, 02/07/2017 - 11:45 Permalink

I was wondering after you get your first ssdi check how long does it take to get your back pay and do you get it in one lump sum


In reply to by Geraldine (not verified)

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 16:42 Permalink

Hi Geraldine,
It takes about four months after your first SSDI check to receive back pay, and it comes in a lump sum.

Q.pitt (not verified)
Tue, 02/07/2017 - 19:10 Permalink

Hi my son got his 1st back pay in august of 2016 now it's time for the 2nd one it's been 6 months but still no back pay to my account what's taking so long I got it on the 3rd of august last year so I was thinking it should of been the 3rd of February


In reply to by Q.pitt (not verified)

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 16:40 Permalink

Hi there,
If you have more than $2000 in savings in your child's dedicated account, the SSA may not send out the back pay as that would put him over the financial resources limit for SSI benefits.

Missy (not verified)
Wed, 02/08/2017 - 09:56 Permalink

My 4 year old is the one who receives the SSI. I have a few questions I was hoping you could answer me. My daughter received an full payment in Aug 2016 but that her dad made over the limit, so in October after credits we only received partial payment because of the Aug income. But now they are saying we owe for the month of Aug. is this right since they already cut her Oct payment to make to make up for that? I also was wondering she is due backpay. But their telling me we have to call and ask for it and everyone I have spoke has never. Can you please lead me in the right direction.


In reply to by Missy (not verified)

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 10:29 Permalink

Hi Missy,
If child support is counted in your state as income, you may want to contact the local SSA office for more details about that.

Mom (not verified)
Thu, 02/09/2017 - 17:29 Permalink

Approved 10/2016 for ssdi first check in 12/16 still no back pay. This is for my husband. He worked his whole life is now 58 was hurt in 2012 got addicted to pain meds got off those then so depressed because he can't work attempted suicide. Now more depressed because bills are piling up and nobody knows anything about his back pay. I don't know what to do any more any suggestions Thank you

m.duncan (not verified)
Fri, 02/10/2017 - 02:48 Permalink

Just received bench decision (Favorable) Feb 6 2017 ....I was wondering time frame of award letter and first payment...


In reply to by m.duncan (not verified)

Fri, 02/10/2017 - 13:58 Permalink

Hi M.Duncan

Unfortunately, Social Security disability claimants typically have to wait one to two months after approval before they will see their first Social Security Disability monthly payment. In most cases, it will take even longer for you to receive your back pay. Fortunately, any time that passes between approval and your first benefit payment should be reflected in your back pay.

Best Wishes,

Marie8998 (not verified)
Sat, 02/11/2017 - 13:57 Permalink

I'm 54 and applied back in August 30th of 2016, still says it is processing, I have a lawyer not sure how much that really helps, but I hope It speeds it up soon as I have bills piling up as well, I'm just curious why does it take so long for back pay, I understand a lot of ppl are on it and need help, but this is our money they took out of are checks every yr, and did not take their time doing it either. I see so many ppl struggle on here and so am I, I just hope I get approved, along time to wait for them to just to say no. and here most barely can't make rent or pay there bills and getting tossed out on the streets, just not fair why it takes so long to get our own money when we need so badly. I will just be happy to get my monthly benefits that will help a lot, I can somewhat understand some back pay taking along time, that I a lot of $ going out at once especially if there is a lot going out at the same time. But they really need to find a faster way of doing this , some ppl are getting tossed out in the streets lights shut off , and hungry because the process is too long. They don't take that along to take from our pay checks . Sorry just very upset and discourage right now in the country we live in that can let things like that happen to usa citizens.


In reply to by Marie8998 (not verified)

Mon, 02/13/2017 - 16:50 Permalink

Hi Marie,
You may want to contact your local SSA office with documentation of your need, they may be able to expedite your back pay based on your need.

Dawnna (not verified)
Wed, 02/15/2017 - 08:17 Permalink

I just got my approval letter. It states I filed in April 2014 but the alleged onset date of disability was April 201w. Which date will they go back to for back pay?


In reply to by Dawnna (not verified)

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 16:41 Permalink

Hi Dawnna,

You may want to contact the SSA about that. They will be able to give you the most accurate information about your status. 1-800-772-1213

Best Wishes,

Ben (not verified)
Wed, 02/15/2017 - 11:44 Permalink

I was just approve for SSDI on Jan 31 2017 I guess I'll be waiting awhile.


In reply to by Ben (not verified)

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 16:16 Permalink

Hi Ben,

Congratulations on getting approved. Unfortunately, Social Security disability claimants typically have to wait one to two months after approval before they will see their first Social Security Disability monthly payment.

Best Wishes,

Bobby (not verified)
Wed, 02/15/2017 - 21:00 Permalink

I was approved for SSDI in October, 2016. I received my first monthly payment in January, 2017. I have been told by three different SS phone reps three time frames for receiving back pay. One was 60-90 days from the approval date; one was 45 days from the approval date; and one was 60 days from the date of my first payment. I see in several answers to comments here that you're saying four months from my first payment. It's very frustrating when this money is needed to get out of debt because of my not being able to work due to my disability. Can all of these answers be correct? Is it the luck of the draw if I get it in the shortest time? Are we just at the mercy of the federal gov't? I was also told that I should be receiving a letter stating what the lump sum amount will be. Do I have to wait for that before I even think of getting the back pay?


In reply to by Bobby (not verified)

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 14:52 Permalink

Hi Bobby,
For SSDI, you would have a four month wait between the start of your benefits and the receipt of your lump sum amount.

Joe (not verified)
Fri, 02/17/2017 - 09:25 Permalink

I startef getting social security disability benefits in October 2016.I received a letter in mid October,telling me they had approved the fee for my rep.But I got no back pay yet,it has been 4 months.How long does it take?


In reply to by Joe (not verified)

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 11:41 Permalink

Hi Joe,
It generally takes about four months from the time you start receiving benefits to get back pay, so it may be soon!

penny golden (not verified)
Mon, 02/20/2017 - 11:09 Permalink

My status states this can you tell me if it means a deniel or approval
A medical decision has been made and we are working to process your benefit application. A Social Security Representative may contact you directly if we need any additional documents or information.


In reply to by penny golden (not verified)

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 12:33 Permalink

Hi Penny,
All that means is that they are processing your application, there is no way to know what the disposition of that application is until they send a letter indicating a denial or reward of benefits.

tiffany (not verified)
Mon, 02/20/2017 - 19:30 Permalink

was given a fully favorable on Aug.2016, (receiving my ssdi payments Sept. 2016) with an onset date of Oct. 2009 before the ALJ. Settled my workers compensation case on Feb. 2014 in the amount of $17,000.00 after lawyer fees, my question is will my settlement affect my back pay with social security??????


In reply to by tiffany (not verified)

Fri, 02/24/2017 - 10:03 Permalink

Hi Tiffany,
Your worker's comp case may only affect your benefits if you are receiving means tested SSI benefits.

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