Your Social Security benefits accumulate throughout your lifetime; a certain dollar amount out of every dollar you earn is set aside for you to use if you can no longer work at your job due to a medical condition. While this money is actually yours, the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires that your illness meet certain rules in order to be paid those benefits. The timing of events that determine when you can begin receiving benefits is a little complicated, so read on for a better understanding of what goes into determining back pay.
Your Application Date
You should not delay in filing your Social Security application for benefits. The application and approval process moves at a slow pace, and the sooner you apply, the sooner you'll get benefits. A key factor in your application is the Alleged Onset Date (AOD). This is the day that you say that you became disabled.
AOD and Back Pay
If you have worked enough and put enough money into the Social Security system and you are deemed to be medically qualified, you will be approved for benefits. Since the process is so lengthy, you may be entitled to back pay, which is a lump sum payment of benefits that you would have been entitled to if your payments had began at the time of your AOD. There is also a 5 month waiting period, explained below.
AOD and EOD
If the SSA approves your claim, you will be provided with the date that they have decided your disability began, the Established Onset Date (EOD). The SSA may not agree with the date you said you became disabled. They will use your medical and employment records to investigate the validity of this date. The importance of your AOD and your EOD being the same could be the difference in hundreds or even thousands of dollars of back pay, so this is a vital determination. You may appeal this decision, but proceed cautiously and speak with your Social Security attorney before making this decision since appealing could impact your claim dramatically.
Calculating Back Pay and the Five Month Waiting Period
Your back pay is calculated by counting the months from your EOD to the month of your approval, when you began receiving regular monthly payments. You must then subtract 5 months for the mandatory waiting period. For example, if your EOD was June of 2014 and you were approved in January of 2016 your back pay would begin to be counted on November of 2014. You would be entitled to a total of 14 months of back pay.
For more information, contact Timothy W Hudson Attorney or a similar legal professional.