What Is Disability Back Pay


Disabled US citizens are eligible to receive disability pay under Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Scheme. However, it takes at least 5 months to process their application. Many a times they also become eligible to receive disability back pay along with the other benefits.

What is Disability Back Pay and Why is It Given?
Disability back pay is the payment made for the period beginning with the date on which a person became disabled to the date on which the disability pay application is finally cleared. What makes its award necessary is that fact that it takes at least 5 months for processing of the application, verification of all facts and details and final awards by the appointed team.

However, the five month waiting period is only a minimal time-frame. At times, it might take longer than that to get a clearance for award of disability pay while the applicant still continues to earn nothing and simultaneously spend from his own pocket. Hence, it becomes imperative for the Social Security Administration to award disability pay for this period too. Disability pay for this period is called Disability Back Pay.

Back Pay Award- Is It Uniform?
The award of back pay is not uniform. If you are applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and if you fulfill all the medical and income requirements, then the back pay you would receive would be for the period beginning from the date of your application to the date of adjudication.

Similarly, if you are applying for Social Security benefits then the period of back pay 'may' be retroactively extended by an year, i.e. you might get back pay for an extra year. However, just like in SSI, you would get the back pay from the date of your application to the date of adjudication of your case.

Further, there can also be some cases in which an applicant may not be given any back pay.

How Soon Can I Get My Disability Back Pay?
There is no definite time frame within which you would get your back pay. You may have to wait for some time to get your back pay, especially if you were awarded disability benefits after a disability hearing conducted by a federal judge.

Also, if you have applied for Social Security benefits which involve the award of disability benefits, then you should prepare yourself for some more time delay in the award of back pay.

How Would They Award My Back Pay?
Back pay would not be awarded to you in a lump sum amount. The usual method of awarding back pay is that of increments in monthly disability pay. This is done to ensure that their monthly income and resource ceiling is not breached (remember, when it is breached you would stop receiving disability benefits).