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Disability benefits can be paid retroactively

When you get hurt and suffer from a disability, you can apply for Social Security Disability (SSD). It takes some time for your application to go through the process, though, and that can delay your benefits.

Interestingly, the U.S. government does allow for SSD back pay. That means that if you should have been entitled to SSD in previous months, those funds will be released to you retroactively. The date you first filed your disability paperwork is typically the date used to determine if you should receive backdated funds.

Social Security Disability payments cannot be paid past 12 months prior to the application date, but it is possible to collect up to a year of benefits that should have been yours even though you're only applying for benefits now. To obtain the back payments, you'll still need to show that you could not work and that you were disabled at that time.

Back payments begin with the first month that you were entitled to disability benefits. If for some reason you do not claim a year's worth of benefits, then you may receive those benefits as back pay. However, know that if you've had to appeal your case, you could be entitled to even greater payments.

By the time your case is approved by a judge, you could be looking at the initial year of back payments (per this example) along with back payments for each month you should have been receiving disability while your case was in court. Your attorney can help you understand exactly what the government should owe you, since it can be a complicated process to find out.

Source: Social Security Disability SSI Resource Center, "What is Social Security Disability Back Pay?," accessed Aug. 25, 2017

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In Minnesota, we handle Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims. Throughout the nation, we handle SSDI applications and appeals for people from Ohio to Kansas, North Dakota to Texas and everywhere in between.

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