Understanding SSDI Retroactive Benefits

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program designed to provide financial assistance to individuals who are unable to work due to a disability. This program is administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and is funded through payroll taxes. If you have a disability that prevents you from working and you have paid into the Social Security system, you may be eligible for SSDI benefits, which may include backpay.

Backpay, also known as retroactive benefits, refers to the payment of benefits due for the period of time between when you became disabled and when you were approved for SSDI benefits. The SSA determines the amount of backpay you are entitled to based on the date you became disabled and the date you applied for SSDI benefits. The amount of backpay can be substantial, depending on how long you were disabled before the application and how long it took for your claim to be approved.

Who Qualifies for Social Security Disability Insurance Backpay?

To qualify for SSDI backpay, you must meet the following requirements:

1. You have a qualifying disability: The SSA defines a qualifying disability as a physical or mental impairment that prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA) for at least 12 months. SGA is defined as work that generates earnings over a certain amount each month (adjusted annually) for those employed by others. If you are self-employed,  there is a 3-part test to determine SGA.

2. You have a sufficient work history: To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have paid into the Social Security system through payroll taxes for a certain period of time and the work must have been close enough in time to when you became disabled. The exact amount of time required depends on your age at the time you became disabled.

3. You have applied for SSDI benefits: You must apply for SSDI benefits and be approved by the SSA to potentially eligible for backpay.

How to Apply for Social Security Disability Insurance Backpay

If you believe you qualify for SSDI backpay, you should apply for SSDI benefits as soon as possible. Here are the steps to take:

1. Gather the information that the SSDI application requires. The application will ask for information about your work history, medical conditions, and other personal information.

2. Complete the SSDI application. You can apply for SSDI benefits online, over the phone, or in person at your local SSA office. The SSA is legally required to collect the medical records from the providers that you tell them about and who treated you during the relevant period of time.  But you should provide to the SSA any medical or other evidence that shows the extent of your disability.

3. Watch for additional requests for information from the SSA and respond promptly. The SSA may send any number of questionnaires for you to complete related to work history, functioning, or activities. They may request that you attend a consultative exam at the SSA’s expense when it is determined that more information is needed.

4. Wait for a decision. The SSA will review your application and medical records to determine if you meet the eligibility requirements for SSDI benefits. This process can take several months.

5. If denied, appeal. If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. You must file an appeal within 60 days of receiving the denial notice.

6. If granted, you will start receiving monthly benefits and, potentially, backpay.  You will receive an award notice explaining your monthly ongoing benefit and any backpay owed to you.

SSDI backpay is a valuable benefit that can provide financial assistance to individuals who are unable to work due to a disability. If you believe you qualify for SSDI benefits, it is important to apply as soon as possible and provide all of the necessary documentation to support your claim. With persistence and patience, you can receive the benefits you are entitled to and achieve greater financial stability.

The Roose & Ressler Team is located in Lorain, Toledo, and Wooster, Ohio. You can count on us as your local disability specialist to analyze your case thoroughly to determine what is necessary for you to receive benefits. We assess the best methods on how to prove the crucial facts of your case and gather the necessary evidence. Having 40+ years of experience serving Northern Ohioans, we know the ins and outs of the local disability process.

Access our free tool:

Guide to Preparing and Applying for
Social Security Disability

For something this important, trust the team that knows.

We know our way around the process. We know what works and what doesn’t. We know specifically how to handle cases in northern Ohio and have four locations to serve you.

Hiring Roose & Ressler can alleviate the feeling of being alone throughout the process. We act as your point person and will be here to answer all your questions. We’ll make sure you meet the necessary deadlines and requirements for the appeals process.

If you’re ready to get started, call us for a free consultation.