Social Security Disability Back Pay and Ongoing Monthly Benefits
How you begin to receive your Social Security Disability benefits varies depending on several factors. Sometimes a person’s first payment will include all back pay through the prior calendar month and will then be followed by regular monthly benefits. At other times, Social Security has to do additional calculations before back benefits can be paid, and the Administration will start your regular monthly checks before releasing your Social Security Disability back pay.
Delays in Back Pay Due to Other Benefits
The most common reason for a lapse of time between your getting your first monthly benefit, if it comes first, and getting your disability back pay is that the Social Security Administration needs to calculate your Social Security disability benefit considering other benefits you are eligible to receive, such as workers compensation, government pension or Supplemental Security Income. For more information about how workers compensation affects Social Security Disability payment amounts, see our article “Can I Get Workers Compensation and Also Get Social Security Disability?” If you are eligible for Supplemental Security Income, also called SSI, and you received your SSI back pay before your Social Security back pay, your Social Security must be reduced by the amount of SSI you received for the same months that you are eligible to get Social Security. For more information about SSI, please visit our article “What Is Supplemental Security Income and How Is It Different from Social Security Disability?”
Speeding Up Payment of Social Security Disability Back Pay
Calculation and release of back benefits may be speeded up by providing everything the Social Security Administration has asked for, including documentation related to your workers compensation, government pension, and Supplemental Security Income claims. If you have received any type of workers compensation or have a workers compensation claim pending, give Social Security a copy of all the workers comp determination letters you have received. If Social Security is waiting for information directly from your workers comp insurer, you might check with Social Security to see if they have received everything they need and, if not, follow up with workers compensation to get it.
If you did not apply for SSI or you received an SSI denial letter, it is a good idea to contact Social Security about the reason your back benefits have not been released and, if they indicate it is due to calculating the SSI offset, let them know that you either did not apply for or were denied SSI and request release of payment.
If the Social Security Administration says they have what they need and they are working on it, it can be helpful to inquire when they expect to complete their processing and then follow up if you have not received your Social Security Disability back pay by that date.