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Social Security Disability Back-pay (Past Due Benefits)

The date you applied for disability and the date your disability began dictate your back-pay amount.

In most cases where a claimant is awarded Social Security or SSI benefits based on disability, past due disability benefits, or “backpay,” will also be awarded. This dates back to when the disability application was filed.  In some cases it can even be earlier. The reason for this is plain: Social Security disability claims take a long time to review & process.

Application Date

The first factor that determines when your disability starts is when you applied for Social Security disability or SSI benefits in the first place. For Social Security disability benefits (otherwise known as SSD or SSDI), a claimant can receive benefits back to their application date and also potentially be considered for retroactive benefits during the year prior to their application date. This year is typically referred to as the “retroactive period”.  [does not apply for SSI]. For disability based on SSI, an applicant could receive benefits back to the first of month after which the claimant filed their disability application.

If you have a “protective filing date” that’s earlier than the date you filed your disability application, you could receive disability benefits going back to that date as if it were your application date. 

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