TheElder & Disability Law Firm, APC
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An explanation of SSDI and back pay.

Some California residents who are applying for Social Security Disability benefits are confused at the concept of 'back pay" when an award is given. They should understand why back pay is normally awarded. It is due to the passage of time involving the application date, the date determined for disability, and the award date.

When a person applies for disability benefits, the application date is the date the application is filed with the Social Security Administration. While determining whether an applicant is disabled, the agency must determine the established date of onset of the disability. Since an applicant can only be paid for those months in which he or she is disabled, payments can only go back to the later of the EOD and application dates, plus any applicable waiting periods. This is called the Date of Entitlement.

The problem is some claims take a longer period of time for an award. If the initial claim is denied and appealed, it may take months or longer for a favorable decision on appeal. In these cases, the agency will look back to the DOE and provide for payment from that date. The back pay, from the DOE to the month in which monthly benefits are first paid, will be paid to the applicant in a lump sum.

An experienced disability attorney can explain this and many other issues regarding the disability process. This can include the provision of representation for those who were denied benefits. The disability attorney will know the regulations and the evidence required to prove a disability claim. Deadlines must be met and medical evidence submitted must demonstrate a disability.

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