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.

Michelle (not verified)
Mon, 03/20/2017 - 13:11 Permalink

I applied SSDI in June 2016, was awared SSI 2017. Benefit payment will be $490 a month. I thought SSI benefits were more. I have not worked since June 2016. No reason given for not receiving SSDI benefits.


In reply to by Michelle (not verified)

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 09:53 Permalink

Hi Michelle,
The SSA awards SSI benefits depending on income, living situation, marital status and other factors that may affect your benefit amount.

greg (not verified)
Mon, 03/20/2017 - 14:39 Permalink

How does social security determine the amount of SSDI I am eligible for? I worked for 31 years in the same job and my SSDI is a little over 1400/month. Seems rather small for all the years I paid in. How can I find out if I am due more?


In reply to by greg (not verified)

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 16:26 Permalink

Hi Greg,

The SSA uses your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME) and Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) to calculate your benefits.

I would recommend speaking with an SSA representative if you believe you are due more.

Best Wishes,

unknown (not verified)

In reply to by greg (not verified)

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 05:59 Permalink

I know that does not seem like a lot from all the yrs, you been working I get that, but if you are getting that much from SSD you are doing good, some only get $400 or $500 and maybe $900 also think depends if you have a lot in savings or investments pension or maybe 401 k but not positive might want to call an lawyer or attorney if you think you should get more sometimes your information soccail sercurity can be wrong too they are always saying make sure if you see anything wrong with your earnings over the yrs to contact ssd because that can affect your monthly checks. Good luck

Jeff (not verified)
Wed, 03/22/2017 - 10:38 Permalink

Hi I have a question.. I finally have my hearing date it's July 10, 2017.. so 17months of waiting for hearing plus all the other time applying and being denied 2 times so over 2yrs waiting.. any ways I was looking at back pay calculator and I put my date of application in, my onset date and what ssa said my estimated benefit would be.. well it says "Number of Retroactive Months 23 but can be no more than 17" what is that and it also says "Months Backpay 32" so will I get 32 months of backpay plus 17months or just 32...



In reply to by Jeff (not verified)

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 13:51 Permalink

Hi Jeff,
It would depend on the type of benefits that you were approved for, but you may be eligible for up to 32 months, if you're receiving SSDI benefits.

Jeff (not verified)

In reply to by Bryan

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 22:39 Permalink

Hi, thanks

Well I'm applying for both but if I get ssdi, what is the difference between backpay and retroactive pay.. the more money I get back the better


In reply to by Jeff (not verified)

Fri, 03/24/2017 - 09:34 Permalink

Hi Jeff,
Back Pay is for the time that you had applied but did not receive those benefits, and retroactive pay is pay for when you were qualified for benefits but did not receive them.

Frustrated (not verified)
Thu, 03/23/2017 - 10:08 Permalink

Does this process really take this long, or are they hoping people will just die waiting for there benefits they worked all there life deserve, I know there are a lot of people , applying then they need to hire more people to take care of these claims , some people are starving and on one day closer getting kicked to the curb, because they have used up all there savings or 401 k plans just to make it day to day, this is just unacceptable the reading a lot of peoples questions and replies to now find out even if you are approved it takes another 5 months to even get a check are you kidding me, if we owed the social security because they paid us too much they would take it back in a heart beat or take us to court ... so frustrated are world has come to this, they just on the eldery, poor and disabled everyday


In reply to by Frustrated (not verified)

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 16:41 Permalink


I understand your frustration, unfortunately this process take a long time. Wishing you nothing but the best.


Brenda (not verified)
Fri, 03/24/2017 - 16:50 Permalink

My daughter was approved for ssi benefits in 2011 but I had moved and my mail was taken without my knowledge by my former landlord and thrown away so when they tried to contact me they we're not able too and so I just found out today during my interview regarding my daughter and once again applying for ssi benefits for her. I tried to explain that I moved and my mail it as illegally thrown out by my former landlord and how I had to enter shelter placement immediately in order to help my family who at time we're homeless after moving. I didn't think my daughter had been approved because I didn't receive any mail before I moved and afterwards. I am in desperate need of anybody's help please I wanted to know now that I am reapplying is there any chance I can appeal this and my daughter can get approval from back when I first applied in 2011???? Thank you so very much. I hope you can help my daughter and our family. Thanks!!!


In reply to by Brenda (not verified)

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 12:36 Permalink

Hi Brenda,

I am so sorry to hear that. I would recommend speaking to a disability rights advocate or attorney about your situation. Wishing you and your family nothing but the best.


Christi (not verified)
Fri, 03/24/2017 - 21:08 Permalink

I was just approved by the judge yesterday for my disability. Said my SSI would start first. My question is I have to move to another state will that effect my disability. Have not got letter yet?


In reply to by Christi (not verified)

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 12:28 Permalink

Hi Christi,

If you have been approved for SSI in one state, you will continue receiving benefits if you move to a different state, since the SSA is a federal program and not a state one.

Best Wishes,

Meghan (not verified)
Fri, 03/24/2017 - 22:54 Permalink

I finally had my hearing after waiting over two years. All medical documents were up to date and the vocational expert said there are not any jobs I can do. I got denied and I am 63 year's old. I don't understand why or how this could happen neither does my attorney. The 13 page denial had conditions that I don't have and never did. He direguarded all of my doctor's paperwork and chose to go with what a doctor that I saw for five minutes at a certain appointment. What's going on with the system

sally (not verified)

In reply to by Eric

Thu, 03/30/2017 - 07:49 Permalink

Omg! That is awful can your lawyer take to the court again? I'm 57 and still waiting for my answer. I hope things work out for you ! I Know the waiting can be stressful but don't give up keep fighting !


In reply to by sally (not verified)

Thu, 03/30/2017 - 10:19 Permalink

Hi Sally,
During some parts of the appeals process, a lawyer could appeal the SSA's decision.

Ms. Canon (not verified)
Sun, 03/26/2017 - 11:20 Permalink

Hi I just found out I was approved finally for ssd, but I never gave them my banking information for direct deposit will they just send my first check in the mail or will I have to set up direct deposit before I receive any kind of $ not sure if they send out paper checks anymore ? Thanks

Charles Beck (not verified)
Mon, 03/27/2017 - 18:53 Permalink

I filed for disabitty in 2003 and was approved in 2010 but they called me a week later and said the only way the judge would sign off on. It was if i would agree to 1 year so instead of 50r60 thousand I didn't even get 5 is it to late now

unknown 2017 (not verified)
Tue, 03/28/2017 - 10:16 Permalink

Been going on about 3 1/2 weeks now , social security called me and asked me some questions so I answered them, then she said the information I gave her gave her decision on my case, and start watching the mail should get a letter in the mail, still waiting on this letter.... grrrr. The way she was talking 3 1/2 weeks ago like I was going to be getting something with in a couple days and now almost the end of March still nothing . They should not even say stuff like that , they are playing on peoples emotions, we have bills to pay and rent and to try to keep creditors off our backs. if they do not know they should not get our hopes up. Now my car insurance I due and hoping they will let me wait until next payday to pay it. I know from what read does take a while to even get paid if you are approved even if you get the letter but at least I will know if I'm approved or denied so I can start figuring something else out, I do not know how much longer I can prolong my creditors before they start taking me to court because behind on my bills. I bet if I owed social security they would want their money ASAP ! Everyone on here wanting to know were there money has been working all there lives to help others out when In time in need and that is fine, that is what SSD SSI is for it is not a hand out is for when we get to retire or don't make it because we got hurt or got sick and can't work anymore it is not hand out or we are not lazy we just simply cant work anymore because of our disability , but life still goes on and the bills do not stop coming we have families to feed and rent and bills , Just sad when we are due our money we have to wait and wait and wait, but they had no problem taking out of our checks ever week or 2 weeks all of our lives and now we need it and they can take all the time they want or if we owed them because they over paid us , they would want it ASAP! Just not fair sorry for venting too much just upset and stressed out !


In reply to by unknown 2017 (not verified)

Tue, 03/28/2017 - 11:16 Permalink


I am so sorry to hear about that. I get that it is a stressful process. Wishing you nothing but the best.


Megan (not verified)
Wed, 03/29/2017 - 22:00 Permalink

I just filed for ssd benefits today, so very nervous, from what I have been reading very long process, hope I can make it through this without losing my house and other belongings, I already did this without out a lawyer, but seenning some of the issues I seen from others that filed, maybe I should have gotten a lawyer, is it too late now since I already filed to hire a lawyer now. Thanks

Veronica Kennedy (not verified)
Fri, 03/31/2017 - 03:21 Permalink

Can anyone help me?
I applied for SSDI Aug 2014, Had hearing with ALJ January​ 10, 2017, Received a fully favorable decision in the mail on March 15, 2017. My disability date is January 12, 2014. Now I am waiting for award letter to come.
I'm currently homeless(house was forclosed after disability and loss of job due to disability), but once monthly payments start we can rent a small place.
My questions are;
1 - When will monthly payments begin?
2 - Do my two children automatically get benifits as well?
3 - If not, when should I apply for benifits for them?
4 - Do my children get back pay as well?

If anyone can help me put my mind at ease I would appreciate it!!! Thank you for your time and help. Have a wonderful day. I hope you get your cases closed with a happy outcome as well. I know how frustrating the process may be.


In reply to by Veronica Kennedy (not verified)

Fri, 03/31/2017 - 09:35 Permalink

Hi Veronica,

- It usually takes up to 90 days to get your first SSDI payment.

-If you qualify for SSDI, your children can qualify too, so you should apply for benefits for them.

-If you qualify for backpay, your children may be able to receive back pay as well.

Best Wishes,

Michelle (not verified)
Fri, 03/31/2017 - 03:29 Permalink

I was told ssd was only going back one year for backpack because of Obama. My back pay should be for 3 year's.

michele (not verified)
Fri, 03/31/2017 - 20:34 Permalink

I got my decision letter march 17 2017. said fully favorable since nov 20th 2014. then I had a review from ssi to see if I get that, that was done on march 27th. I have no money and its all about waiting, how long does it take ssi to make there decision and how long do I have to waitfor award letter for ssdi. my son is turning 18 in may and going in the army would like to have some money so we can enjoy doing something before he leaves since he has not how much because of this waiting game the govement does

Tim (not verified)
Fri, 03/31/2017 - 21:35 Permalink

I received my first disability check in dec 2016 but no back pay. When should I receive my back and lawyer got paid in nov 2016


In reply to by Tim (not verified)

Mon, 04/03/2017 - 15:22 Permalink

Hi Tim,

That is unfortunate because usually it takes 60-90 days. I would recommend reaching out to the SSA.

Best Wishes,

Theresa (not verified)
Sun, 04/02/2017 - 08:42 Permalink

Hi I had my appeal hearing in October 4,2016. I'm awaiting a letter of confirmation. Would anyone know how long this could take. I live in western Pennsylvania. My lawyer first told me 60 days


In reply to by Theresa (not verified)

Mon, 04/03/2017 - 15:13 Permalink

Hi Theresa,

It usually takes around 90 days, so I would contact the SSA and speak to your lawyer again.

Best Wishes,

Georage 54 (not verified)
Mon, 04/03/2017 - 07:22 Permalink

I just found out I was approved for disability , will I get continue to get monthly payments until I die, or is this just temporary and will social security make me reapply again down the road?


In reply to by Georage 54 (not verified)

Mon, 04/03/2017 - 10:26 Permalink

Hi there,
You would be eligible for disability benefits until you reach full retirement age, at which time your benefits would convert to retirement benefits at the same benefit amount.

Paul p (not verified)
Mon, 04/03/2017 - 18:43 Permalink

I went into a depression plus panic on October 30 2011. I was 53, I isolated from everyone, everyone for 6 months although I began counseling to help me work again then sold every single thing I had including my home good car bought a junk junk? So I could keep ins. I began seeing doctots : theorist immediately in 2011. After failing to get bavk together I was literally talked into filing a claim, which I did, in march 2015, thank god because I now live in a garage I lost ins, in December and won't be able to get meds as they are expensive. ODAR after I was turned down Thur both and reconsideration, I filed for a hearing.
BUT SHORTLY after I received a letter from ODAR asking for a year pior to my 2011 onset date, medical and 15 years of work history which i swear I hsve but maybe not 15 years. I quify for SSDI from working and the OTR SAUD return adsp as I may get a fully favorable approval. If they give that without changing my onset date I stated being 1st sept 2011. And waited trying to get better saleing all I owned. Trying. Could my back pay go as far as back as my alleged onset date of 2012. Or filing date of I think month was FEB 2015, year I know!

Sorry for long post!

Betty (not verified)
Tue, 04/04/2017 - 20:53 Permalink

Can u b awarded ssi for the 5 month waiting period?????


In reply to by Betty (not verified)

Wed, 04/05/2017 - 10:13 Permalink

Hi Betty,
If you have already been approved for SSDI benefits, you may not be eligible for SSI benefits at the same time unless your award for SSDI benefits is under the federal benefit rate of $735 a month and you meet the financial resource requirements.

Frank (not verified)
Wed, 04/05/2017 - 20:07 Permalink

I filed back in August of 2016 and check social security website very once and awhile and noticed this most recent update, Until I get a letter in the mail I don't really read into much into it, but looks like it is getting close the most update is today...what do you guys think

Benefit Application Under Review

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.

We started reviewing the decision made by the Disability Determination Service for accurate processing of your benefit application.

The Disability Determination Service for your state started processing the medical portion of your benefit application.

We started reviewing your Disability benefit application.

Your Disability benefit application was submitted.

Your online Disability benefit application was started.


In reply to by Frank (not verified)

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 09:49 Permalink

Hi Frank,
I really could not say if this alters the status of your case, it looks like they have determined that you may be medically qualified for benefits, and now they may be reviewing other parts of your case.

Cher (not verified)
Thu, 04/06/2017 - 23:54 Permalink

OPM disability retirement in 1999. Managed my disability till 2010 things started going downhill with my condition BUT did not apply for SSDI till 2017. Is there a certain number of years that social security can consider that is less than 7 years?


In reply to by Cher (not verified)

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 09:58 Permalink

Hi Cher,
You may not be eligible for benefits as you had not been working at least five of the last ten years. You may want to contact the SSA for further details, you can do so by calling them at 1-800-772-1213.

Ashley B (not verified)
Fri, 04/07/2017 - 11:30 Permalink

I have heard sometimes you will get your first payment, before you get your reward letter, I applied back in August 2016 but never remember giving my bank account information. Put heard if you do get a deposit it is from the treasury. I always my tax returns deposited into my checking account every year, could is there anyway it still can be deposited with them already knowing my banking information or if I'm approved will I still have to set up for direct deposit through social security, I still go on my checking account and see if I might have funds from disability in my checking account ... but I think I have to sign up right ?


In reply to by Ashley B (not verified)

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 10:00 Permalink

Hi Ashley,
Yes, you would need to inform the SSA that you would like direct deposit and they can set up your accounts for them to deposit the funds directly.

DEBI (not verified)
Sun, 04/09/2017 - 22:20 Permalink

I was told that a decision as been made, just process the benefit application, should I read anything into that, or should I not get too excited yet? They posted that on 4/9/2017 . If you are denied does a denied letter come faster then award letter, they do not tell you too much just curious by experience does anybody know? My life depends on this, I really need approval if I get denied I do not know what I will do .

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