The Social Security Disability attorneys at Disability Associates explain the basics of backpayments, which are a component of an individual’s Social Security disability earnings.

Upon receiving the news that a Social Security disability claim has been approved, that individual could also be eligible to receive backpayments. Backpayments, or more commonly known as backpay, are the earnings included in the Social Security disability benefits an individual receives that account for the time period that the individual could have been receiving benefits, but didn’t due to the duration the application process.

The amount of backpay an individual will receive is based on three factors – the application date, the onset date and the required waiting period.

The first factor is the application date, which is the date an individual applied to receive Social Security disability benefits. An individual can receive backpay starting from his or her date of application with the chance of also being considered for retroactive benefits during the year prior to the initial application date. Retroactive benefits can be awarded for the months an individual was disabled prior to applying for disability benefits, but the individual must be able to prove that he or she was indisputably disabled for at least five months before the application date.

The second factor is the onset date, which is the date in which the individual applying for Social Security disability benefits became unable to work at a considerable work activity level – that is, when his or her disability commenced. The individual will indicate the onset date of the disability on his or her application, and it will be determined according to the evidence provided by the individual’s medical records, lab results and disability application.

The third factor that is considered is the obligatory waiting period. All applicants are required to endure a five-month waiting period before receiving disability benefits, so they will have five months of benefits removed from the start of their disability. However, many claimants are never affected by the waiting period due to the time spent between filing an application to receive benefits and awaiting a decision from a the appointed judge.

Once an individual is deemed approved to receive Social Security disability benefits and the backpay amount is determined, the individual will generally receive one lump-sum payment for the entire amount of the specified backpayments. It will not be combined with the standard Social Security disability payments.

While the backpay for each disability case will be calculated according to these three factors, every case is different, and there are no absolute guarantees about the results of your personal situation. Therefore, it’s important to consult with a Social Security disability attorney who understands the full extent of the application process and the laws that govern. He or she may be able to provide you with the greatest chance of receiving the benefits you are entitled to and fight for your rights in the event you are denied.

For more information about receiving backpayments associated with Social Security disability benefits or your unique circumstances, please contact Disability Associates.