Back Benefits

January 14, 2015

One of the most common questions that I am asked by disability claimants is, “how far back will the Social Security Administration pay back benefits for disability?” The answer depends on the type of disability claim. For the most common disability claim for Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) filed under Title II of the Social Security Act, benefits cannot began until five months have passed since the person became disabled. The adjudication of “disabled” is at the heart of any disability claim because this is the determination that the SSA or the Administrative Law Judge must make to entitle the claimant to benefits under the law. Additionally, disability benefits cannot be paid on these claims back more than one year prior to the date of the claim. This rule also applies to claims for Disabled Widows and Widowers Benefits.

For SSI claims filed under Title XVI of the Social Security Act, there is no five month waiting period, however, SSI benefits cannot be paid prior to the start of the month following the application date.

Disabled Adult Child (which refers to individuals who become disabled prior to age 22) benefits also do not have a five month waiting period, but benefits cannot be paid for more than six months prior to the date of the claim.


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