Things To Know About Social Security Back Pay

By January 22, 2022 January 24th, 2022 No Comments

The process for receiving Social Security benefits can be complicated and laborious. Claims are often denied at least once, and that initial rejection can leave you feeling like the process is hopeless. It is important to stay on track, though. In addition to monthly checks, Social Security benefits can also be delivered in the form of back pay, and back pay is usually awarded in one lump sum.

Back Pay

The amount of back pay you are owed depends on factors such as when you became disabled, when you applied for disability, and how long it took for you to become approved. If your benefits are approved, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will give you back pay for however long it took your initial application to become approved. Since there is such a large backlog for approving Social Security, nearly everyone who applies is entitled to at least some back pay. There is also no limit to the amount of back pay you could accumulate. This means that no matter how long the approval process takes, you will receive all the benefits you were entitled to since the date your application was submitted.

Retroactive Benefits

Retroactive benefits are the amount of money you are entitled to based upon when your disability began. These are based on the “onset date” that your disability prevented you from working, and continue until the date that you applied for disability. Retroactive benefits have a maximum payout time of 12 months, and unlike back pay, not everyone is entitled to them.

Five Month Waiting Period

Once your “onset date” is determined, there is a mandatory waiting period of five full months from that date until your benefits are payable.

Back Pay Waiting Period

There’s no way to tell how long the SSA will take to process your back pay. Some people wait weeks while others wait months. Fortunately, once your SSDI is approved, you’ll receive an award letter outlining what to expect. The award letter will detail the amount of your disability check, the day of the month you’ll receive your check and the amount you are owed in back pay.


If you have more questions about your disability benefits or back pay, call Drew L Johnson, P.C. Attorneys at Law, at (541) 434-6466.