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Understanding back payments for disability benefits

by | May 30, 2019 | Firm News, Social Security Disability

People in New York who are applying for Social Security Disability may face a lengthy process to gain approval, moving from their initial application to, at times, a disability hearing or even further in the appeals process. In many cases, when people are finally approved and begin receiving SSD benefits on a monthly basis, they also receive a lump sum payment from the time their application was filed. While some people may be confused about this payment, it is not a settlement of other claims like pain and suffering or lost wages. It is a back payment of monthly benefits from the time they would have been entitled to begin receiving them.

When people apply for SSD benefits, they cite a specific date or incident when they became too disabled to work. They also will submit medical evidence and other information that supports this claim, showing when their disability began. However, people are not automatically entitled to disability benefits as soon as they are unable to work; Social Security Disability applies a five-month waiting period. After that period ends, people are considered eligible for disability benefits.

These lump sum back payments do not include other forms of compensation. They are calculated simply on the basis of the number of months of disability benefits the recipient is entitled to based on the length of their claim and their date of entitlement to SSD. This is one reason why it is important for claimants to establish the earliest possible date of their disability, supported by medical evidence and a history of treatment.

When people apply for SSD benefits, they may face a complex process that takes longer than they expect. A disability lawyer might help claimants to prepare their applications and navigate the process, including presenting the case before a disability hearing in an appeal.