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How Do Disability Back Payments Work?

How Do Disability Back Payments Work?

How Do Disability Back Payments Work?

Social Security Disability back benefits can be a complicated and confusing topic

The rules are confusing and differ depending on the type of benefit awarded.  For instance, there are different rules regarding back benefits for Social Security Disability and SSI.  

The rules are frequently called arbitrary and without reason. Often, this is true. Many of the guidelines and regulations for determining back benefits are outdated, but they are still valid. 

Back benefits are unpaid money the government owes for the period of time the claimant was disabled but wasn’t receiving benefits due to the length of the application process

 

Example:
Joe applies for SSI in January.  In March, Social Security finds that he is disabled and has been since January.  His monthly check is $1000, and he receives his first one on March 2nd.  Social Security still owes him $2000 in back benefits because he wasn’t paid for the months of January and February.

SSI will only pay as of the date of the application and not before provided prior applications aren’t subject to reopening 

 

Example:  

Joe applies for SSI in January.  In March, Social Security finds he has been disabled for ten years.  Joe receives his first of monthly checks on March 2nd for $1000.  How much is he owed in back benefits?  $2000 because the furthest Social Security will go back in an SSI application is to the date of the application.    It doesn’t matter that he was found disabled for the past ten years.  

There is another rule that states Social Security subtracts the first five months of disability benefits
Provided there aren’t prior applications being reopened, the furthest back Social Security will go when paying back benefits is a year behind the application date, but this rule is deceiving.  There is another rule that states Social Security subtracts the first five months of disability benefits.
 
 

Example:
Joe applies for SSDI (Social Security Disability) on January 1, 2020 saying he has been disabled since January 1, 2019.  Social Security agrees, and on January 2, 2020, they award Joe SSDI as of January 1, 2019.  His benefits should be $1000 a month.  Joe should receive back benefits as of January 2019, right?  WRONG!  The five-month rule controls.  Joe would receive back benefits as of June 2019 because January through May will be subject to the five-month rule deduction.  
Benefits can also be subject to offsets
Social Security Disability can be offset by state disability or worker’s compensation.  Often, this will eliminate any back benefits.
 
 
Example:  

Joe applies for SSDI (Social Security Disability) on January 1, 2020 saying he has been disabled since January 1, 2019. Social Security agrees, and on January 2, 2020, they award Joe SSDI as of January 1, 2019. His benefits should be $1000 a month. Joe received $1000 from state disability the entire year of 2019, but not any month of the year 2020. Joe would receive virtually nothing in back benefits due to the state disability amounts being subtracted from his social security disability.  

Benefits can be offset by just about anything. The most common offset isn’t actual income, but lodging
Social Security expects an applicant to pay rent with the benefit. If a friend or relative of the applicant gives him or her a free place to live, Social Security will deduct 1/3 of the benefits, including back benefits. If, however, the friend or relative expects to get reimbursed for rent that hasn’t been paid during the application period, then social security might not make the 1/3 deduction.
SSI also has an asset cap. Excessive assets will cancel out any benefits, future or back. If an applicant is married, Social Security will allow you up to $3000 in assets, not including one house and one car. If the applicant exceeds $3,000 in assets, Social Security will not allow him or her to receive benefits. If the applicant is single, the asset cap becomes
$2000, but the same rules apply.

The key is to have the right lawyer.

 
Need help? Get in touch for a free consultation.
“Devermont & Devermont is a wonderful Law Office… Derek Devermont and his staff went above and beyond to get me my disability benefits… The wait is worth it but not too long… But being patient and understanding is the key… They really care about what they do.. I love Devermont & Devermont Law Firm!!”

-Anja Irwin

“From the get go Derek set my mind at ease and made me feel like family. His determination cleared my good name and for that I will forever be indebted for. His staff was also friendly punctual anytime I needed anything.
I would highly recommend this firm.”

-David Rutola

“I didn’t know where to go for a help when my family and I needed it most.
Thank GOD I finally found Devermont and Devermont. Under six months of working with them, we now receive the monthly benefits we were likely never going to see without the help of Mr. Devermont. Can’t thank them enough.”

-Dani Song

Coronavirus and Disability

Coronavirus and Disability

Coronavirus and Disability

How has coronavirus affected disability benefits?

In this current age of the coronavirus, questions of disability are bound to come up.  Those affected will ask, “am I disabled based on the coronavirus?”   They will also wonder, “how will the coronavirus affect those who are already applying for social security disability and SSI benefits?”

According to most sources, an adult below 60 who is in good health should be able to make a full recovery from the coronavirus.  The infection period is not expected to last a year.  In order for a condition to be considered disabling, it must have a duration of no less than a year.  Therefore, in most instances, the coronavirus would not lead to being disabled under the law.  

However, for people who are already suffering from medical conditions, the Coronavirus can push them into disability
territory.

This applies most obviously to those with breathing or lung conditions.  People with asthma, COPD, lung cancer, or other breathing disorder can have their conditions permanently aggravated by the coronavirus.  The coronavirus can work its way into an already compromised pulmonary system and cause havoc.  If a person with a breathing condition wasn’t disabled before they contracted the coronavirus, he or she might be disabled after the damage has already taken place. 

Any disorder that compromises the immune system can be at the mercy of the coronavirus

This theory doesn’t solely apply to breathing disorders.  Any disorder that compromises the immune system can be at the mercy of the coronavirus and, with the combination, make the victim eligible for Social Security Disability.  People who recovered from cancer, but underwent chemotherapy or radiation, are particularly susceptible to permanent damage that could be caused by the coronavirus. 

Priority one:  Stay safe and away from those that may be infected.
Those that currently have immune system compromising disorders are probably the most at risk.
People Who have HIV or cancer can be thrown over a medical cliff because of corona.

If you become disabled, be sure to hire an attorney who specializes in Social Security disability-related matters.

 
The key is to have the right lawyer.
“I would recommend the Law Office of Devermont and Devermont. Attorney Derek Devermont helped me win my disability appeal and we won. It was a long process but Derek was always available to answer any questions I had. He was knowledgeable and professional. All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you!”

-Pilar Arias

“Best and most aggressive attorneys in town. Amazing in every respect. They will fight for you like you are their own family.”

-John Ramirez

“If I could give Mr.Devermont a 10 star review I would do it in a heartbeat. Not only did he help me win my case but he was very understanding and efficient during the entire process. His office staff was also very sweet and helpful. I HIGHLY recommend him! Thanks again! Your team is awesome.”

-Jojo Barrera

When your disability determination decision is under review it is a good sign

When your disability determination decision is under review it is a good sign

When your disability determination decision is under review it is a good sign

Often the term “permanent disability” is used to describe social security disability or SSI. This term is misleading. 

If social security issues a favorable decision and grants disability benefits, they still have the power to cut off the benefits at any time should they find good cause. Usually, this occurs when social security believes the disabled individual is no longer disabled due to “medical improvement.”   

Medical improvement is what it describes.  The health of the claimant, who was disabled, has improved to the point where they can work.  As of recently, Social Security has been finding medical improvement in large amounts of cases.  When this happens, disability benefits will be cut off.  

A series of steps occur before disability benefits are terminated.

The first step is the “disability determination under review” letter.  The letter notifies the disabled individual social security will be reconsidering the disability status of the claimant.  This letter will ask the claimant to provide any evidence of continuing disability.  Evidence usually comes in the form of medical records.

More often than not, most redeterminations find medical improvement and terminate disability benefits. 

After the “disability determination under review” letter will come notifying the claimant of termination of benefits.  Of course, the claimant has the opportunity to appeal.  There is, however, always a catch.  The appeal within ten days of the termination letter if the claimant wants to remain on benefits during the processing time.  If social security denies the appeal, the claimant will owe back any monies received during the appellate period.  

If the ten days expire, Social Security will terminate the benefits. An appeal can still be filed if done within 60 days of the termination notice. Still, the disability benefits will cease until social security makes a finding of disability. If Social Security makes a finding of disability based on the appeal, the claimant will be due all benefits not paid during the appellate period.

 
The key is to have the right lawyer.
“I would recommend the Law Office of Devermont and Devermont. Attorney Derek Devermont helped me win my disability appeal and we won. It was a long process but Derek was always available to answer any questions I had. He was knowledgeable and professional. All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you!”

-Pilar Arias

“Best and most aggressive attorneys in town. Amazing in every respect. They will fight for you like you are their own family.”

-John Ramirez

“If I could give Mr.Devermont a 10 star review I would do it in a heartbeat. Not only did he help me win my case but he was very understanding and efficient during the entire process. His office staff was also very sweet and helpful. I HIGHLY recommend him! Thanks again! Your team is awesome.”

-Jojo Barrera