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How may I qualify for retroactive SSDI benefits or back pay?

If you received a letter denying your application for Social Security Disability Insurance, you may appeal the decision and qualify for retroactive benefits or back pay. As noted by the AARP, it may take at least one year for the Social Security Administration to reverse its decision and approve you for benefits.

Your eligibility for SSDI generally begins when you become permanently disabled and unable to work. If for any reason, you did not apply for SSDI right away, you may qualify for retroactive benefits. The SSA may provide retroactive payments for the months stretching from the onset of your disability and up to the date of your SSDI application.

How may I receive payments for back pay?

Retroactive benefits may cover the time between your disability’s onset and the date of your application’s approval. Back pay, however, covers the period from an initial application that the SSA rejected and an appeal that resulted in an approval.

How long could it take to receive a payment?

Federal law requires applicants to wait five months before receiving benefits. If approved, you may receive your first benefit in six months. If you receive a denial, a challenge may take a year or longer, but you may receive payments for the time spent going through the appeal process. The back pay may include a lump sum payment for those months spent waiting for your appeal’s approval.

After the SSA determines your disability or medical condition makes you eligible for SSDI, it may award back pay. The past-due benefits may reach back to the date you filed your original application. As noted by the IRS, however, you may incur a tax liability if the SSA sends you a lump sum payment.