Being hurt on the job can lead to a host of problems, not least of which is the financial strain it can cause. If you have been injured and are filing a workers comp claim, you might be wondering if you can receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) back pay. The Workers Compensation Attorneys at the Law Offices of Norman J. Homen can help you navigate the complex process of workers compensation and SSDI back pay.
Understanding SSDI Back Pay
SSDI back pay refers to the disability benefits that you may be entitled to from the time you became disabled until the time your SSDI application is approved. The Social Security Administration (SSA) may take several months to approve your application, and during this time, your medical expenses and living costs can accumulate. This is where back pay comes into play. If you are approved for SSDI, you may be entitled to receive benefits dating back to the time you first became disabled.
Calculating SSDI Back Pay
The amount of SSDI back pay you may receive depends on several factors:
- Date of Application: The date you filed your SSDI application is vital. The SSA will typically consider the fifth month after your disability onset date as your entitlement month. You will not receive benefits for the first five months after your disability onset date.
- Date of Disability Onset: This is the date on which you became medically disabled, as determined by the SSA. It may be different from the date you stopped working or the date you applied for SSDI.
- Approval Date: This is the date the SSA approves your SSDI application.
The SSDI back pay will typically cover the period from the start of your entitlement month until the date your SSDI application is approved. However, there are cases of cumulative trauma claims for workers comp, where the injury or illness is not the result of a single event but develops over time. In such cases, determining the disability onset date and calculating the back pay can be particularly challenging.
How to Apply for SSDI Back Pay
When you’re dealing with the aftermath of a workplace injury, understanding how to secure every bit of your financial entitlement is vital. The SSDI back pay application is one important aspect that needs careful attention.
Step 1: Understanding the Application Process
First and foremost, you must understand that applying for SSDI back pay is not a separate process. It is, in fact, a part of your overall SSDI benefits application. When you apply for SSDI benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will automatically consider your eligibility for back pay.
Step 2: Determining Your Disability Onset Date
The disability onset date is the date on which you became medically disabled. This date is paramount for calculating your back pay as it will be the starting point from which the SSA will consider your entitlement to benefits. It’s essential to accurately determine this date and support it with medical documents, as it will significantly impact your back pay.
Step 3: Submitting Your SSDI Application
Submit your SSDI application with complete and accurate information. Ensure that you provide the correct disability onset date, and support it with all necessary medical documents. The application can be submitted online, by phone, or in person at your local SSA office.
Step 4: Approval of SSDI Application
Once the SSA approves your SSDI application, they will automatically calculate your back pay. It is essential to know that the SSA typically considers the fifth month after your disability onset date as your entitlement month, and you will not receive benefits for the first five months after your disability onset date.
Step 5: Receiving Back Pay
The SSA usually pays the back pay as a lump sum, separate from your regular monthly benefits. The amount will cover the period from the start of your entitlement month until the date your SSDI application is approved.
Common Misconceptions and Mistakes
There are several misconceptions and common mistakes that people often make when it comes to SSDI back pay:
- Assuming Back Pay Covers from the Date of Application: Many people assume that back pay covers the period from the date of application until the approval date. However, it actually covers from the entitlement month (five months after the disability onset date) until the approval date.
- Not Understanding the Waiting Period: The five-month waiting period from the disability onset date is often misunderstood. This period is not covered by back pay.
- Underestimating the Importance of the Disability Onset Date: The disability onset date plays a key role in calculating back pay. It is essential to provide accurate information and supporting medical documents to establish this date.
These are just a few reasons why you need a workers comp attorney to guide you through the process and help you avoid common pitfalls.
Related Article: 12 Reasons Why You Need a Workers’ Comp Attorney
Importance of Legal Assistance
Understanding and applying for SSDI back pay can be a complex process, but it is essential for covering the costs that can accumulate while waiting for your SSDI application to be approved. Being aware of common misconceptions and mistakes, and seeking the assistance of a workers comp attorney, can significantly improve your chances of receiving the back pay you are entitled to. If you think you may be eligible for SSDI back pay, contact us at the Law Offices of Norman J. Homen for a free consultation.