Applying for disability can take quite some time, depending on your circumstances, whether or not you have to appeal a denial and the mandatory waiting period. Since your bills continue to pile up during that time, many people wonder if they have to go for all these months without any payment.

In truth, you can collect back pay from SSDI, which is retroactive for a certain period of time. Learn about social security retroactive pay, or back pay, how it works, how far back it goes, and why a disability lawyer can be vital to collecting benefits.

Onset Dates

There are two dates that become important in your social security claim: The EOD, or Established Onset Date, and the MOD, or Medical Onset Date. Each is used for different reasons in evaluating your claim. The MOD is the date that your injury reached the stage where you qualify as disabled under the SSDI, but you haven’t yet met the other important criteria for eligibility.

The EOD, on the other hand, is the date that your impairment actually stopped you from being able to work. Determination of the EOD requires four factors:

  1.      You can no longer perform your prior work
  2.      You cannot perform other kinds of work
  3.      Your condition will last at least a year, and possible for the rest of your life
  4.      You have enough work credits and legal status to qualify for SSDI.

If your EOD is before you filed your SSDI application, you may be able to obtain back pay.

Waiting Period and Other Limits

There is also a certain period after your EOD during which you have to wait before benefits kick in. This waiting period is five months following the first of the month after your EOD. Thus, if you get hurt on the second day of the month, your total wait will by one day shy of six months.

In addition, you cannot receive more than one year of retroactive back pay, after accounting for your waiting period. Thus, if you have an EOD of February 2, 2016, when you apply for benefits, your waiting period begins on March 1 and ends on August 1.

If you apply for benefits on August 1, 2017, you’ll get benefits dated back to August 1, 2016. However, if you apply for benefits on July 1, 2017, you’ll still only get benefits back to August 1, 2016, because the waiting period is not factored into the 12 months.

How a Disability Lawyer Can Help

Applying for social security benefits can be complicated, confusing and even frustrating. Getting the full benefits to which you’re entitled can require the right kind of experienced help in the form of a knowledgeable disability lawyer.

At Disparti Law, we’ve got decades of combined experience in helping people who are disabled get the benefits and compensation awards they need. We can help you avoid pitfalls and challenge denials of your benefits to help you keep control of your life. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help with your SSDI claim.