The time it takes to apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits and get approved by the Social Security Administration (SSA) can be long and the process is difficult. Fortunately, you may be eligible to receive past due payments to compensate you for the months you were waiting for a decision on your claim.  

Our Phoenix-based Social Security Disability lawyers discuss the two types of past due payments that exist. Let us review your claim and determine your eligibility for these payments in a free consultation. You are not obligated to hire our firm, but if you do, it costs nothing up front to use our services.

Have Questions? Call: 1-800-503-2000

Back Pay Overview

Back pay is a form of payment allocated to you for missing out on disability benefits while waiting for your claim to be approved. The SSA will pay you for the time between the date you applied for disability benefits (assuming you were eligible on that date) until the date you received an approval notice.

Both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSSI) applicants are eligible to receive back pay.

Retroactive Payments Overview

Retroactive payments go back further and may be awarded in addition to back pay. These payments are designed to compensate you for the time between the date you became disabled and the date you applied for disability benefits (assuming you were eligible on that date).

Unlike back pay, only SSDI applicants are eligible for retroactive payments. The SSA will look at your alleged onset date – the date you stated your disability began – to calculate these payments. To be paid retroactive payments, you must prove that you were disabled before you applied for SSDI benefits.

How Much Can I Receive in Back Pay and Retroactive Payments?

Your eligibility to receive back pay and/or retroactive payments will depend on several factors, such as the date you became disabled, the date you applied for disability and the date you were approved.

For back pay, there is a five-month waiting period before accruing it. The SSA will not issue out these payments for the first five months after your application date. This means that if your disability claim happens to be approved within five months after applying for disability benefits, you will not be eligible for back pay.

The maximum amount of back pay you can receive is up to 12 months or one year’s worth of benefits. Generally, the first installment of back pay is issued within 60 days after being approved for disability.

Similar to back pay, there is a five-month waiting period to accrue retroactive payments and you can only receive a maximum of 12 months of benefits.

However, in order to receive 12 months or up to a year’s worth of retroactive payments, your established onset date – the date the SSA believes your disability began – must be 17 months before you filed your disability claim (this is due to the five-month waiting period).

How Can You Spend Past Due Payments?

If you have struggled financially due to a lack of income while waiting for your claim to be approved, you can spend these extra funds on any current expenses, such as:

  • Medical care
  • Insurance
  • Utilities
  • Groceries
  • Paying off debts
  • Rent or mortgage

Back pay and retroactive payments can also be put away for future emergencies. The SSA gives you nine months to spend any extra funds. If you do not spend the extra funds within this time period, you may not continue to qualify for disability.

Learn How Our Firm May Be Able to Help

If you have questions concerning your eligibility for disability benefits, reach out to a lawyer at Dayes Law Firm for a free confidential consultation. We are ready to determine how we may be able to help. Depending on your situation, you may qualify to receive back pay, retroactive payments, or both.

We work on a contingency fee basis, so there are no upfront fees involved. We do not receive payment for our services unless and until we help obtain financial compensation on your behalf.

Free Case Consultation. Ph: 1-800-503-2000