If you are unable to work at your job because of a medical problem, you may qualify for Social Security disability pay. Most people know about the extensive wait for benefits to begin, but the Social Security Administration (SSA) has provisions in place to help alleviate the negative financial effects caused by being out of work for a long time. Read on to learn more about the Social Security lump sum payment, also known as back pay.
The Long Wait
There are simply more people applying for disability payments than the SSA can easily handle in a timely manner, and it has been that way for some time. The SSA uses a multi-step process to ensure that only those that are qualified can get an approval. Once you turn in your application, you can expect to wait for months and months to either get an approval or a denial.
Understanding Back Pay
From the time you became disabled until the day you finally get approved can take some time, but you are entitled to benefits during that time. Once you get approved, the SSA will count back in time to determine how much you would have been receiving from the date of your disability. The SSA calls the money that would have been paid to you back pay.
The Mandatory Five-Month Wait
To add to the wait time, the SSA imposes a mandatory five-month wait time. No matter how serious your disability may be, you are not eligible for benefits during five months while you wait for your approval. For example, if your last day of work (known by the SSA as your alleged onset date) was on June 1, 2018, and you finally get approved for benefits on June 1, 2019, you would only be eligible for seven months of back pay.
Seeking Legal Help
You might be interested to know that there is a connection between your back pay and your appeal. If you get turned down, and most people are, you are entitled to an appeal hearing. If you need to use an attorney to help you get benefits, your back pay can be used to pay that attorney. The SSA has to approve the agreement, and you will only pay a certain percentage to the attorney. This allows filers to get the legal help they need to get an approval at the appeal. Speak to a Social Security disability lawyer to learn more about back pay and your appeal.