The Sullivan Law Office provides assistance in ensuring that all applicants and recipients receive all of the benefits to which they are entitled in all kinds of disability cases. These include Social Security Disability, long-term disability, short-term disability, state retirement and workers’ compensation. Some cases involving social security benefits necessitate determining if a present or former recipient of benefits is entitled to the back payment of benefits.
Recipients of disability benefits receive a predetermined monthly payment amount of money for the duration of the disability. Recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefit receive a monthly payment amount based upon their record of earnings from employment. Recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits receive an amount equal to a predetermined amount less certain income, assets, and other resources.
Applicants applying for SSI benefits on January 1, 2017, which are approved because the applicant meets the financial criteria for SSI, have January 1, 2017, as the first day that they may receive back payment of benefits once awarded. For example, if an application is approved on December 1, 2017, recipients will receive monthly payments for the eleven-month period a decision was pending. Because the first of the month is used in this example, the entire month counts. Otherwise, if it was any other day (i.e. other than the first day of the month), benefits would be paid effective for the following month. PRACTICE TIP: If possible, get the SSI claim filed no later than the first day of the month so that month counts for benefits.
Receiving retroactive payments when applying for SSDI is a more complicated process. There is a one year look-back period, thus applicants may receive back payments for up to twelve months prior to the date that an SSDI application was filed, as long as the applicant was disabled at this time. So, if someone is not working for nine (9) months and applies for benefits because this is within one year of the filing of the application, the applicant could potentially receive all back pay (calculation based on all 9 months).
If an applicant waits say 20 months to file an application for benefits, a less favorable result occurs because the one-year look-back period only allows the payment of twelve (12) months of retroactive benefits, thus the applicant is losing 8 months worth of benefits. It is strongly recommended that potential applicants for disability benefits file for SSDI as soon as possible! Based upon the one-year look-back period, the filing date should be clearly within one year of the onset of disability, which is often when the applicant stops working.
Please note that there is a five-month waiting period for retroactive cash benefits so that a claimant will not be paid for the first five full months of benefits. Thus, if an applicant is entitled to 17 months of back pay, he or she would receive only 12 months because the first five full months are not paid. This waiting period is hardwired into the Social Security Act, courtesy of Congress. Also, there is a 29-month wait for Medicare benefits!
We’ve been representing all types of disability clients in Kentucky for over twenty-five years. Sometimes there are trade-offs in a case, and perhaps in order to protect your future, you end up foregoing some past due benefits. Get advice from an experienced attorney. We offer free consultations, so there is absolutely nothing to lose! Contact the Sullivan Law Office to get the help you need in the Louisville metro area. Call 888-587-0228 or visit us online.