What is the Difference Between Back Pay and Retroactive Benefits?

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When you are approved for SSD benefits, you may be eligible for two separate forms of past due payments. But what are the differences between them? Let’s take a closer look.

What is Back Pay?

Back pay is benefits that are due to you from the time you applied for disability to the time you were approved for benefits.

It’s important to keep in mind that there is a five-month waiting period. This means that the SSA will not provide back pay for the first five months after your application date. Therefore, if your claim was approved in five months after applying, you are not entitled to back pay.

At most, you can only receive up to 12 months of back pay.

What Are Retroactive Benefits? 

In addition to backpay, you also may be entitled to retroactive benefits. These are benefits between the time you became disabled to the time you applied for benefits.

To determine retroactive benefits, The SSA looks at your disability onset date, the date your disability began.

In your application, you choose an alleged onset date (AOD). Through reviewing your records, the SSA can approve your alleged disability onset date , which will then be called an established onset date (EOD). However, the SSA may not agree with your AOD and through medical evidence, prove a new EOD.

The retroactive benefits are calculated from your established onset date to the date you filed for your application.

Similar to backpay, there is a five-month waiting period and you can only receive a maximum of 12 months in retroactive benefits. Therefore, to receive a full year of retroactive benefits, your EOD must be 17 months before you filed your disability application.

Have Questions? Our Experienced Social Security Disability Attorneys Can Help. 

Applying for benefits can be overwhelming, and having a skilled attorney on your side can help improve your chances of being approved.

Have questions? Call Disability Attorneys of Michigan for a free confidential consultation at 800-701- 5524. We’ll let you know if we can help you get a monthly check and help you determine if any money or assets you receive could impact your eligibility for disability benefits.

Let Michigan’s experienced Social Security Disability law firm help you get the benefits you deserve.

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I will never forget you and the hard work you did to secure my Social Security Disability benefits. Thank you!

- Christine C.