If you cannot work at your job any longer, you might be able to get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. As you might have heard, the wait for applications to be approved gets longer all the time. To help disabled workers with the time and money gap created by the long wait, the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides approved workers with a lump-sum payment known as back pay. For what hurt workers need to know about back pay, read below.
When Can You Be Paid?
Back pay begins accruing on your day of last insurance (DLI). That is usually the last day you worked at your job and your final contribution to the FICA. The FICA deductions go towards several programs but mainly they go into an account to be used when you cannot work any longer or when you retire – whichever comes first. Unfortunately, it can take months after applying before you get benefits. However, the SSA puts aside a monthly payment in a special account, and then it's paid to claimants all at once when they are approved for benefits. You can only be paid back if your application gets approved, though. As you might imagine, the back pay distribution is very welcome and useful, particularly given the fact that you cannot work or earn money during the time you are waiting on approval by the SSA.
Take Five Months Away
The SSA cannot let you have the entire back pay, however. They deduct five months from the waiting period and you get no money during that five months. Take this example: You stopped working on January 10 and your SSDI application was approved on December 10 of the same year. You have been waiting on your approval for 11 months but will only be paid back pay for 6 months due to the five-month wait period. This waiting period applies to all applicants regardless of their medical or mental conditions.
Use Your Back Pay Now
Applicants don't necessarily have to wait to put their back pay to good use, however. They can use their expected back pay to get help with their application and their appeal. Social Security lawyers approved of by the SSA will help you get benefits with no money needed based on the potential to be paid later when your benefits are approved. If you end up not being approved for benefits, you don't have to pay the Social Security lawyer anything. To find out more about what a lawyer can do to help you get benefits, speak to a Social Security disability lawyer today.