How long after receiving my first monthly check, will I get my Social Security Disability back pay?
Learn about processing times for Social Security Disability back pay, factors that can delay it, and tips on how to speed up payment.
Social Security Disability Back Pay and Ongoing Monthly Benefits
How soon 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. More often Social Security has to do additional calculations and authorizations before back benefits can be released so the Administration will start your regular monthly beneits 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 were eligible to receive in the back pay period, such as workers compensation, certain government pensions or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). 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 (SSI), and you received your SSI back pay before your Social Security back pay, your Social Security back pay must be reduced by the amount of SSI you received for the same months that you are eligible for Social Security.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI back pay should be paid first or less than a month after the first SSI monthly check is paid. 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 accelerated 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 and it has been longer than sixty days since you got your first monthly benefit, it is a good idea to contact your local Social Security office about the reason your back benefits have not been released. If you either did not apply for SSI, were denied SSI, or withdrew your SSI claim, ask the local office to send a notification or second notification that no SSI offset is involved.
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 requesting a local office inquiry be sent on your behalf.