Social Security Disability: Everything You Need to Know About Back Pay

When individuals begin the Social Security Disability application process, they are often informed that it will probably take years for their claim to be approved by the Social Security Administration.  Because of how long the process takes, most applicants are eventually entitled to back pay going back to either one year before the application was filed, or five months after your disability began – whichever is the later of those two dates.

When Will I Receive My Back Pay?

Most people receive their back pay within 75 days of being approved for Social Security Disability Benefits, which will be deposited in one lump sum. However, recently we have seen mistakes being made at the processing center which have caused individuals to  experience  an unusual delay in receiving what they are entitled to.  If it’s been a few months since your approval and you still have not seen a deposit in your bank account, you should contact your attorney for assistance.

 How Is My Back Pay Calculated?

 How far back you will receive back pay depends on a number of factors, including:


  • The date you applied for benefits: The date you applied for benefits in Important and we normally recommend that a person file for benefits as soon as they stop working.
  • The onset of your disability: When you file a claim for disability, you are asked for the date of when your disability began, also called your Alleged Onset Date. This date is not when you first were diagnosed or when you first started to have symptoms, rather it is the date that you became unable to work because of your condition.
  • Don’t forget about the five-month waiting period: All Social Security Disability awards are reduced by a five-month waiting period. Depending on your application date or date of disability, you may need to subtract five months’ worth of payments from what you are expecting in the form of back pay.


Waiting for Social Security Disability benefits can be a long and frustrating process. If you are just starting the journey, it’s a wise idea to meet with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney who can help you navigate the steps you’ll need to take to present the strongest case possible.    We  invite you to contact the Law Offices of Sheri R. Abrams at (571) 328-5795 to schedule an appointment..

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