Unfortunately, the Social Security process is extremely lengthy from start to finish. It is not uncommon for it to take years to finally receive a decision awarding you benefits. Therefore, when you are finally awarded benefits, it is likely that you are entitled to collect some sort of backpay in your case. In order to correctly calculate this, you must consider the type of benefits you are eligible for (SSDI v. SSI) as well as the date of disability (determined by the judge in the decision), date of filing (your application), and the 5-month waiting period for SSDI claims. These backpay rules of SSDI and SSI are specifically explained in a prior blog post (See SSDI v. SSI: How Much Backpay Will I Get if I am Awarded Disability Benefits?). This blog post will take those rules into consideration and explain the backpay basics for a concurrent claim.
In some cases, you may be eligible for both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Most often, your backpay will reflect the higher amount which is usually the SSDI amount in most cases. However, on some occasions you may be eligible to receive both SSDI and SSI payments if your SSDI payment amount is on lower end. For example, if your SSDI amount is $500 per month based on your work history but you are eligible for $900 a month in SSI based on financial need then you would receive SSDI and SSI payments. Specifically, you would receive $500 a month in SSDI and $400 a month in SSI. As mentioned, the rules regarding the date of disability, date of filing, and the 5-month waiting period will still apply. Therefore, if you are found disabled in the decision as of 01/01/22 and your date of filing is 12/01/22, then you would receive SSDI payments of $500 starting 06/01/22 (5 month waiting period applied) and the additional SSI payments of $400 would start 12/01/22 (date of filing). You can also receive SSI payments during the 5-month waiting period in some instances. For example, if you were found disabled at 03/01/23 and you filed your application 01/01/23, then you would start receiving SSI payments of $900 from 03/01/23 until 08/01/23 when the SSDI payments would start. You would still receive $900 in August – but $500 would come from SSDI and $400 in SSI.
Overall, there are a lot of dates, rules, and nuances to be aware of when calculating possible backpay you may be eligible for. It is important to note that attorney’s fees may be deducted from this backpay if you are represented. Therefore, it is important to work with an experienced law firm to better understand what your backpay eligibility may be based on your specific case and circumstances.