How Far Back Can Retroactive SSDI Payments Go?

Due to the lengthy process of pursuing an SSDI claim, an individual can go a considerable period without disability benefits while waiting. 

Social Security Disability Form Attached To Blue Clipboard With Pen

Many unrepresented filers find themselves navigating the hurdles of their claim overwhelming. It is not uncommon for these individuals to find themselves frustrated and exhausted — or to give up on their claim altogether.

An SSDI Attorney Can Help You Get The Retroactive Payments You Deserve

This is a difficult and taxing process. However, with representation from an attorney from Michael Armstrong Law, we can help you get the benefits you deserve. 

Unlike SSI, which offers no guarantee of retroactive payments, SSDI claimants may be entitled to the payment of retroactive benefits, which can go as far back as 12 months (1 year) prior to one’s first contact with the SSA. First contact is the date the individual expressed their intention to apply for benefits to the Social Security Administration (SSA). 

Also, this serves as your protective filing date. This date is of paramount importance as it can influence the amount of benefits you are eligible to receive, and this date establishes an eligibility date that is earlier than the actual date of application submission.

There Are A Few Important Criteria You Will Need To Meet To Be Eligible For Retroactive Payments:

  • An application must be completed and filed within six months of your protective filing date. 
  • You must wait a full five-month waiting period before benefits are payable; thus, this time period will be deducted from any back pay awarded.

Therefore, If you’ve been disabled for over a year and have waited the required five months, you can get SSDI benefits for up to one year before the protective filing date you applied.

Circumstances That Can Extend Retroactive Payments Further

After an initial decision has been made, the individual’s claim can be subject to reopening if new material can be introduced, or a clear error was made by Social Security. Reopening a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claim allows for the possibility of receiving retroactive payments for a longer period — for up to four years. 

As stated earlier, SSDI benefits are paid 12 months before the protective filing date. Reopening the case can extend this period, potentially increasing the retroactive benefits if the SSDI claimant was eligible during that particular, extended period.

It Is A Good Idea To Consult With A Social Security Disability Insurance Attorney

Most first-time SSDI applicants are denied and will find themselves discouraged by the complexity of the process. However, an SSDI attorney can represent you, advise you, and inform you of your rights through your appeals process. Our compassionate and diligent attorney and staff at Michael Armstrong Law are one click away with any of the buttons below.

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