After a serious injury, illness, or condition becomes disabling and results in the inability to work, individuals may be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, or SSDI. Although the Social Security Administration (SSA) has made great advances in their application process and literature available online, the application process is still rife with traps and exceptions that can result in the denial of an otherwise acceptable application. When this happens, individuals may have prolonged delays in the amount of benefits they may receive from the SSA. Fortunately, when this happens there are retroactive SSDI benefits that an individual can obtain. But there are also back payments that may also be applicable. They are different, and knowing which one that you are entitled to is very important to ensure that your rights to compensation are protected. As a result, individuals should contact an experienced SSDI lawyer in NYC for help with their application and calculation of owed payments.
Here at O’Connor Law, we understand how complicated retroactive and back payments can be for individuals and families—especially individuals who are seriously injured or disabled. We know that, if you are unable to continue to work, you are likely unable to be able to navigate all the hurdles which exist in the still-complicated SSDI application process. This is particularly true when it comes to the amount of payments that an individual may have to calculate and confirm accurate. If you or a loved one have become disabled and need help, call our experienced SSDI lawyer in NYC to learn more about how we can help you during a FREE consultation with our compassionate and knowledgeable team.
One of the key provisions of SSDI is that applicants can receive retroactive SSDI benefits. These are payments that you would have been paid before you applied with the SSA. The maximum amount of retroactive benefits that you may obtain is for 12 months. There is also a five-month waiting period which is subtracted from what you may obtain.
That means the maximum period to receive the full extent of the retroactive payments is 17 months, comprised of the first 5 months as the waiting period and then 12 months of the payments. If a person’s disability was for 18 months or longer, the total amount is still capped and a person will not receive any additional retroactive payments.
Therefore, it is imperative that, once you have been determine to have become disabled and unable to work, that you begin your application process. If you wait for longer than 17 months before applying, you will be losing out on payments that you may be entitled to under the law.
Separate from retroactive payments are back payments. An SSDI applicant can receive an unlimited amount of back payments, however, most people may confuse them with retroactive payments or simply not realize what they are entitled to.
Back payments are very different than a retroactive payment because they are measured from your application date until the time that the SSA approves your claim. That is significant for a few reasons. First, there are known delays with SSDI applications which may be caused by the SSA having a lack of field offices, understaffed, or other logistical issues—especially during the pandemic. Thus, delays in getting an application approved—while it may take longer to get that first check—will still afford individuals the full compensation that they may be entitled to.
Second, if your SSDI application was initially denied or must go to a hearing, these extended delays can still result in compensation if your claim is ultimately approved. That means an experienced SSDI lawyer in NYC like ours can help get your denial reversed, your claim approved, and your back payments received. Sometimes this process can take years to do, which can be quite a large payment for an individual who is disabled and unable to work.
At O’Connor law, we have dedicated our practice to helping individuals who have been injured, become sick, or who have other conditions which have made it impossible for them to work due to disabilities. If you or a loved one are disabled and having troubling applying for SSDI, were denied, or are unsure what to do next, call to schedule a FREE consultation with our experienced SSDI lawyer by dialing (844) 692-6671 or by sending us a private message through our “Contact Us” box available here. We are here to help and look forward to hearing from you.