When Did You Become Eligible for SSDI Benefits?

Workers who are afflicted with a medical or mental condition may be paid Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. When an applicant fills out their application, details like dates matter a lot more than most think. The date you became disabled is an important milestone and can affect your back pay. To find out more, read on.

Back Pay: What to Know

The time between the day you stopped working due to your medical condition and when you finally get your benefits can months and months. You can be paid for the time you spend waiting for your benefits, though. Back pay pays applicants for the gap between what the Social Security Administration (SSA) refers to as the date of last insurance (DLI) and the date benefits are approved. There is a five-month waiting period all applicants must subtract from this gap, however.

Date of Last Insurance

Since your back pay is calculated using the DLI, the exact date matters to the SSA and should also matter to you. The DLI is the last time FICA was deducted from your paycheck. FICA, among other things, is used to build your retirement savings. If you are disabled prior to your full retirement time, SSDI is paid in the interim. The DLI, however, must be verified by the SSA with your employer. It can hold things up when what you indicate on your application fails to match up with what your most-recent employer verifies. Some confusion can result when you go back in time and put down a date that corresponds with your affliction but not necessarily with your DLI.

Retroactive Benefits

If you continued to work at your job while suffering from your disability, you may be eligible for retroactive payments. Regular SSDI benefits are difficult enough to get, but retroactive payments require a lot more work. In many cases, applicants must show that they sought medical treatment prior to stopping work and that they became unable to perform the duties of their job but continued to do so anyway.

It's easy to make mistakes when applying for SSDI, but you can get help with that. Talk to a Social Security lawyer so that your application is done correctly the first time. That can help prevent time wasted and denials. If you are denied benefits, you are entitled to an appeal hearing. You will need the help of a Social Security lawyer to prove your disability at the appeal hearing. You won't owe the lawyer any money upfront so find out how much they can do for your Social Security case today.