Applying for Social Security disability benefits can be a lengthy and challenging process. However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) allows applicants to receive backpay after their application has been approved. Backpay refers to the benefits you would have received if the SSA had approved your claim immediately after submitting it. Once you have been approved for Social Security benefits, the SSA will pay you your accrued backpay.
Discuss Your Case with a Las Vegas Social Security Lawyer Today
Are you considering filing for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits? If so, you need an experienced Social Security disability lawyer. The legal team at Roeschke Law, LLC Las Vegas can help you submit a thorough and accurate application for benefits. If you haven’t received your backpay yet, we will help you pursue the backpay you deserve. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.
How Does the SSA Determine Disability Backpay?
The process for determining how much backpay you should receive is complicated. Several different factors affect how much backpay you are owed. The Social Security Administration determines backpay in relation to the date the applicant filed the disability claim. They also consider the date the SSA decided that your disability began. A Social Security examiner or an administrative law judge will determine the established onset date based on your medical records.
Disability Backpay Distribution
The SSA distributes backpay differently depending on whether you’re seeking Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, or both. If you’re seeking SSI disability benefits, your benefits will begin on the date you filed your application. Even if you’ve been living on minimal resources for months, you may not receive your backpay immediately after the SSA approves your claim.
The waiting period for your backpay might be longer if an administrative law judge decided your case. Additionally, back pain SSI benefits are paid incrementally only. You will not receive a lump sum of your backpay amount as you would if you were approved for SSDI benefits. If you’ve been awarded both SSI and SSDI benefits, you may have to wait longer to receive your backpay than if you only received SSDI benefits.
SSDI benefits can accrue from the date of your initial application. Alternatively, your benefits can accrue as far back as 12 months before you submitted your application, less a waiting period of five months. For all practical purposes, the five-month waiting period is an arbitrary elimination of what would have been your first five months of benefits. The longer you wait for your case to be approved, the less the waiting period affects you.
Examples of the Five-Month Waiting Period
We will consider two different examples of the five-month waiting period to understand it better. Suppose you apply for benefits and the SSA approves your application five months after you apply. In this case, you will not be entitled to backpay. The five-month waiting period will cancel out the five-month approval process. However, if the SSA approves your claim 12 months after submitting your application, you will receive seven months of backpay. The SSA will subtract the five-month waiting period from the 12-month approval process to arrive at seven months.
In many cases, applicants need to appeal the denial of their claim, adding time to the approval process. Suppose the SSA approved your application 24 months after you applied. In that case, you are entitled to 12 months of backpay because the limit for backpay is 12 months. Even though you would be approved for 19 months of backpay (24 months of waiting period minus a five-month waiting period), the 12-month limitation on backpay will apply.
Receiving Backpay in a Lump Sum
Unlike SSI benefits, you can receive SSDI benefits in a lump sum. Unfortunately, determining when the lump sum of your back pain will arrive is unpredictable. In many cases, an applicant will find his or her backpay benefits deposited into their bank account even before they’ve been notified that their disability claim was approved. In other cases, an applicant will begin receiving monthly benefits before receiving backpay.
Social Security’s Windfall Offset Provisions
Some applicants are surprised to see that their benefits have been adjusted due to the Social Security administration’s windfall offset regulations. Suppose you qualify for benefits under both SSI and SSDI. in that case, the amount of SSDI benefits you receive will be based on your income. As a result, the backpay you receive through SSDI will count against you as income to determine SSI benefits.
After the Social Security Administration has paid your backpay benefits through SSDI, your SSI benefits will be automatically reduced. The Social Security Administration treats your SSDI backpay as though it was available income for you to use throughout your period of disability.
Disability Backpay for Heirs
The nature of the disability approval process may result in an applicant who is very ill passing away before the Social Security Administration approves our benefits. In this scenario, the applicant’s heirs may have a claim to obtain their backpay. The applicant’s surviving spouse will receive backpay benefits first.
Consult With a Las Vegas Social Security Lawyer
If you or your loved one have been denied Social Security benefits, including disability backpay, we recommend discussing your case with a skilled Social Security lawyer as soon as possible. The experienced legal team at Roeschke Law, LLC Las Vegas will handle every aspect of your case so you can focus on your medical condition. We have a proven track record of successfully obtaining benefits for many Las Vegas residents. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.