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Back Payments

Chicago Lawyers for SSDI Claimants

It can take a long time to obtain Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Benefits are for those who have worked for a sufficient period of time and paid into the Social Security system, and who have become disabled. Back payments may accrue depending on how long you were owed benefits before they were awarded. The Social Security Administration (SSA) takes time to process applications. If you receive an award of SSDI benefits, you may be entitled not only to a monthly disability check, but also back payments for the period between your filing date and the date of approval for benefits. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, our Chicago Social Security attorneys may be able to help you obtain benefits.

What Are Back Payments?

In order to be considered disabled by the SSA, you need to have a condition that lasts at least 12 months or that is a terminal condition that is expected to result in death. Often it takes the SSA many months or even years to process applications, such that there may be a significant delay between the time when you submit your application and the time when you receive your approval for benefits. Initial claims are frequently denied, and therefore there may be an even greater delay in your receipt of benefits. Additionally, there is a five-month waiting period for SSDI benefits after you first become disabled.

Back payments are past due benefits that accrue during the approval process. They may be owed for the months between the date you applied for SSDI benefits and the date you were approved by the SSA. Retroactive benefits are a form of back payment that may be owed for the months between the onset of your disability and the date you applied for SSDI. These are benefits you would have gotten if you had applied sooner than you did.

Back payments represent an amount that is owed to you once you apply for benefits, while retroactive payments are available to cover a maximum of 12 months prior to when you even applied for benefits if you can show you had already experienced the onset of disability during that time. A skilled SSDI lawyer can help you assemble the necessary evidence to prove when you became disabled and eligible for benefits.

First Installment of SSDI Back Pay

You may receive your first installment of SSDI back pay 60 days after you are approved for SSDI benefits, usually in a lump sum payment. It can be directly deposited into your bank account. While back payments of SSDI benefits are typically paid in a lump sum, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is handled differently; these are typically paid in three installments of the same amount.

Established Onset Disability Date

Sometimes a claimant is actually disabled for a long time prior to applying for SSDI. The date on which you apply for SSDI is considered the established onset date (EOD) for your disability, unless you challenge this date. In some cases, the EOD is evident because your disability is the result of a traumatic accident with a date certain. However, when you’re disabled by a long-term progressive illness, it may be more difficult to assess when you became too disabled to work. It may be appropriate to challenge the established onset date as calculated by the SSA in order to obtain retroactive payments.

An established onset date can also be incorrect for other reasons. For example, the date used by the SSA may be incorrect if you weren’t actually working, but received contract worker income, and the established onset date doesn’t take this into account.

Consult a Chicago SSDI Attorney

If you are concerned about back payments for SSDI, you can discuss your circumstances with the seasoned SSDI lawyers at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We are available to represent disabled claimants in Champaign, Rockford, Quincy, and Aurora, as well as Kane, Cook, Adams, Winnebago, and Sangamon Counties. Contact us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or via our online form.