If you are not able to work at your job because of a medical or mental problem, you may be owed back pay. Read on to find out more about back pay and how the amount you are paid is calculated.
What is Back Pay?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) can take months to determine your approval (or denial) of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. While you are waiting to hear from them, though, your back pay may be adding up. Back pay is your monthly benefit amount for each month you waited for approval.
For example, if you stopped working and applied for benefits in January of 2021, you might have finally been approved in January of 2022. You are owed twelve months of back pay in that instance. Five months are deducted, however, for the SSA waiting period. That means you are owed seven months of back pay. Back pay is paid in a single lump sum payment once your benefits are approved. Be sure to set up a bank account, as the SSA instructs you to do so that your back pay can be paid to you in a timely manner.
How Back Pay Amounts Are Determined
Several factors affect back pay. Since the amount of money paid to you depends on your earnings prior to your disability, your usual monthly amount will affect your back pay amount as well. If you have been approved for a $1,000 monthly amount, for example, then your back pay will be that amount multiplied by how many months you were eligible for back pay. Other issues that can affect your lump sum back pay include:
- When you became disabled. Some workers are disabled before they stop working. Otherwise, your back pay is calculated from the time you stop working and paying into the system. That date is known as your date of last insurance or DLI.
- When you submitted your application. The sooner you fill out and submit your application, the sooner you can be paid.
- How long the SSA takes to review your application. The backup of claimants at the SSA can be huge. With so many being affected by long-term COVID19 issues, applicants are having to wait longer and longer. Many applicants wait for months, and back pay accrues as they wait.
- What you do after you are turned down. Unfortunately, many are turned down for benefits. Speak to a Social Security lawyer about filing an appeal on the decision. Your back pay continues to add up while you wait for your appeal hearing.
Speak to a Social Security disability lawyer and get more personalized information about your back pay and how it can help you pay for the legal help needed to obtain benefits.