When Does A Disability Start For Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income Cases?

Posted April 1, 2021

One of the questions we are asked by people is when would their disability start if they were granted Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits. This start date of a disability claim in a Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income case is known as the onset date. The quick answer is that the onset date of any disability is determined by Social Security Administration, and typically will be based on when you stopped working or medical evidence supported your disabilities.

If a claim is approved administratively, the component of Social Security that determines a person is disabled selects the date of onset of disability. If appeals are taken and a claim is awarded after a hearing in front of a federal administrative law judge, the judge picks the onset date.

At Drummond Law, one of the most critical things we look at when representing clients is the date of onset. Carefully selecting an onset date is very important. Not only does an earlier date of onset result in more money in back pay but it can affect the date of eligibility for Medicare benefits and affect the development of the evidence in the case itself because one of the requirements to get any disability benefits from Social Security is that a person must have been or will be disabled for at least 12 months.

What Goes Into Choosing An Onset Date

For Supplemental Security Income cases, as a practical matter, you can only receive benefits from the date you applied for benefits whereas for Social Security Disability you can only receive benefits for one year prior to the application date.

For Social Security Disability claims, there is a 5-month waiting period after your onset date during which time Social Security does not pay any benefits but you become eligible for benefits thereafter. Supplemental Security Income does not have this 5-month waiting period and typically money can be paid beginning with the first full month after you apply.

There are many other aspects to the date of onset of disability that cannot be effectively dealt with here, but we would be happy to discuss them with you.

Contact Experienced SSD/SSI Attorneys

If you have further questions and would like to talk to us about this topic or any other topic concerning Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income, please give us a call at (800) 842-0426 for a FREE consultation.


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