Retroactive Payments

What Are Retroactive Payments?

The SSDI retroactive payments are payments made to disability applicants for the time passed between the onset of the disability to the date that the application was passed. Retroactive payments are paid for 12 months prior to the date of the application being passed.

Factors When Making Retroactive Payments

The Social Security Administration considers three factors when making retroactive payments:

  • Date of onset
  • Date of application
  • Wait period

By default, the date of filing of application for your disability is considered the date of onset of your disability. This date is referred to as the alleged onset date (AOD), and all your retroactive payments are calculated back to this date.

If the disability began much before the date of application, it is mandatory to prove that in order to change the AOD and obtain a new established onset date (EOD).

All SSDI claims have a mandatory wait period of 5 months after the onset of the disability. No payments are made during this period. Therefore, your retroactive payments are made only at the beginning of the sixth month.


Are you eligible for retroactive payments?


An applicant for social security benefits is eligible for retroactive payments if:

  • The disability claim has been approved
  • Over 5 months have elapsed since the EOD
  • The payments are not to be withheld for any reason

The SSDI allows retroactive payments for a maximum of 12 months prior to the date of application, subtracting the waiting period. That means that a minimum of 17 months that will have passed since the date of onset (EOD) and the date the application is approved.

In addition, no matter when the EOD may be, retroactive payments will be made for a maximum of only 12 months, meaning that the applicant will remain unpaid for any time before the considered 17 months.

How a Social Security Attorney Can Help

The process of applying for benefits and obtaining them is not only tedious, but also confusing. Besides a number of legalities beyond the comprehension of a general applicant, not all applicants receive a fair review, because not all applicants have knowledge about:

  • The proper documentation and records to be submitted with the application
  • The required presentation to be given before the judge
  • The amount of benefits that can be requested
  • The procedure to change the EOD from the AOD

Hiring an SSDI lawyer can ensure that your application receives a fair review and you are given the benefits you deserve for your disability.