If a person is approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), they will receive an ongoing monthly benefit, back payments, and Medicare (however, there is usually a wait for Medicare – see below).
The benefit amount for Social Security disability insurance is determined by a person’s work history and the amount they have contributed though payroll taxes to the Social Security system.
Claimants almost always receive a certain amount in past due benefits, or, “back-pay,” which is payable in a lump-sum payment. A claimant can receive back pay from the time they filed the application, plus as much as 12 months retroactive to this date. Whether a full year of back-pay is payable depends on the date of disability. The onset of disability date (when the disability is decided to have begun) determines the date of entitlement to benefits (which is five months after the onset date, due to the five-month waiting period for SSDI). Thus, if the onset date is found to be 17 months or more prior to the finding of disability entitlement, a full year’s back-pay is paid. In any case, back-pay can amount to thousands of dollars simply because disability cases take so long to be decided.
Medicare benefits become available two years after the entitlement to Social Security Disability Insurance benefits has been determined. Remember, your date of entitlement is the disability onset date plus five months. For example, if a claimant is awarded disability benefits and is given an established onset date (when the disability is judged to have begun, based on a review of the medical evidence) three years prior to the awarding of benefits, then the two-year Medicare clock starts from the established onset date plus the five-month waiting period that applies to all Social Security disability cases. In many cases, since the SSA takes so long to decide cases, Medicare entitlement begins at the same time SSDI benefits are approved. In other words, you will have “served” the required two-year wait for Medicare benefits by the time you receive your first Social Security disability check.
Applications for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits can get complicated. Please let us help. It’s what we do.