Increasing you retroactive payments – back pay
As Social Security disability insurance programs are designed to help replace lost income when a person can no longer work due to disability, retroactive pay can be a critical component in the financial recovery of those who are newly approved as disability beneficiaries. Unfortunately, current policies limit the amount of retroactive pay, and advocates for those living with disability view this limitation as overly restrictive and ultimately counterproductive for those most in need of benefits.
What is Retroactive Benefits?
Retroactive pay is the payment of Social Security disability benefits for the time period prior to when the disability claim was initially filed. These payments are dependent on when the applicant’s disabling health condition began, as well as when the appropriate documents are submitted or received by the Social Security Administration. While the limits on retroactive payments may vary depending on one’s individual situation, the current policy limits retroactive pay to 12 months prior to when the initial application was filed. Supporters of reform argue that this time period should be lengthened in order to provide applicants with a much-needed benefit when their disability claim is ultimately granted.
Impact of Limited Retroactive Benefits
The Social Security Administration estimates that two-thirds of all applicants for disability are initially denied. This denial rate is especially significant when referring to applicants with serious physical or mental health conditions. The appeals system is typically complex and time-consuming, and it often takes long lengths of time before disability applicants are approved for benefits.
These delays can be especially hard on families living on limited means in the long interim period between filing and approval. The delayed availability of disability payments can contribute to severe economic hardship, which can be particularly stressful during already challenging periods of medical condition or recovery.
Proposals for Reform
For the last several years, there has been an ongoing public debate on how to improve the delays in the Social Security disability system. While there have been various proposed solutions, such as working to reduce the denial rate of applications, there has also been an effort to increase the amount of retroactive pay upon disability approval in order to help those who depend on disability benefits reestablish financial stability.
While Social Security disability benefits can provide much needed support for those living with disability, there is room for improvement when it comes to the system’s retroactive payment policy. Increasing the time period for retroactive pay upon approval of disability claims could provide much needed financial assistance to those who experience delays in the system. Ultimately, making sure that those in need receive the benefits they deserve should remain the top priority.
Retroactive pay is a crucial benefit which helps individuals who have faced life-changing medical issues by providing additional financial support during their transition period. Under SSA regulations, if a person has the necessary medical evidence establishing their disability, the SSA is required to pay them retroactive benefits going back to their onset date. This pay is often crucial for those in financial hardship, and can help them get back on their feet and provide for their needs.
Unfortunately, many SSI recipients are unaware of their rights to receive retroactive pay, and this affects their ability to receive the assistance they need and are entitled to. Thus, if an SSI recipient is disabled and has not yet received their retroactive pay, it is important to take appropriate steps in order to make sure that they get it.
One step an SSI recipient should take is to consult with a qualified attorney who specializes in SSI and disability issues. An attorney will review the individual’s case and help them understand their legal rights regarding retroactive pay. The attorney can also provide assistance in filing an appeal, if necessary, and can help the SSI recipient recover any retroactive benefits they are eligible for.
Additionally, SSI recipients should be sure to follow the SSA’s rules and regulations. They should make sure to provide all the medical evidence necessary to support their claim, in a timely fashion. If a recipient is unable to provide the necessary evidence, they should look into applying for “imputed onset date”, which can allow them to receive retroactive benefits. It is also important to keep detailed records and documentation of the SSA’s requirements.
Finally, if a recipient is dissatisfied with the SSA’s decision, they should consider filing an appeal. This is best done through an attorney, who can help the SSI recipient present their case in the most compelling way possible.
By taking these steps, SSI recipients can increase their chances of receiving the retroactive pay they are entitled to. It is essential for SSI recipients to remember that they have rights, and that they should take advantage of them in order to get the assistance they need.
When applying for SSDI benefits, the SSA looks at the date you became disabled. If this date is within five months prior to your disability application date, you may receive a lump sum back payment to cover the period of time where you were eligible for SSDI, yet did not yet receive disability benefits.
If you were disabled more than five months before your application date, you may still receive a retroactive payment — however, the amount of money will begin the first month after your original SSDI application date.
Ultimately, if you applied for SSDI benefits and were approved, it’s important to consider your eligibility for a retroactive payment. Contact the SSA if you are unsure if you qualify or if you have additional questions regarding your retroactive pay.