How Social Security Determines Your Back Pay

If you are unable to work at your job due to an illness, you may be eligible for Social Security disability. Social Security was put in place just to help people like you, and it is a benefit provided by our federal government that is available to people who have worked, or "put into the system" for years. You are eligible for benefits beginning at a certain time and if you don't file at that time you can be eligible for back pay. If you have questions about back pay, read on for important information about what you may be entitled to receive.

Date of Application

Social Security disability insurance claims take a very long time to process, so the sooner you file, the sooner you'll receive your money. Once you file your application, the clock begins ticking and the process begins. The date of application is the first consideration the Social Security agency will look at when considering back pay.

Retroactive Payments

Retroactive payments, which are a little different from back pay, can be paid to you if you qualify for up to an entire year before you filed. So, for example, if you had to stop work due to an illness or injury in June 2014 and you file your application in July of 2015, you may quality for retroactive payments for the year before you filed. You must be able to prove that you were sick or injured during that time period to receive the retroactive pay.

Back Pay

For back pay, you will be assigned an effective onset date, called an alleged onset date (AOD). This is the date that has been determined to be the time your disability began. To determine this date, the Social Security agency will look at employee and medical records. This determination will also set the date that, if eligible, you began to be eligible for retroactive pay.

One more complicating factor to consider is the five-month waiting period. Whether it is for retroactive pay or back pay, the agency will impose a 5-month period before you can begin receiving benefits.

You may want to consider hiring an attorney to assist you with filing for your benefits, since, as you can see from the information above, it can be a complicated and confusing process. A lawyer will be able to help you navigate your way through the many steps necessary and successfully get you the money you are entitled to for your illness or injury. You will be able to move forward with your life once you have been awarded all that is due to you, including any back pay.