If you have applied for Social Security compensation, you may be wondering about the process when it comes to back-pay or retroactive pay. The reason why you may be entitled to receive back-pay is because it takes a long time for the Social Security Administration to process claims. There is a difference on how these payments are calculated, and it depends on whether or not you are applying for SSI benefits, or SSDI benefits. This article will briefly explain the difference between the two benefits, and how back-pay and retroactive pay is calculated.
Social Security Income
Social Security Income, or SSI, is a program that helps the elderly and disabled who have little to no income. When you apply for SSI and are eventually approved, back payments are calculated for the months that are between the date you originally applied for benefits, and the date you are approved for benefits. Payments usually begin the first full month after you are approved. So, if you receive your approval on the 15th of the month, you'll have to wait until the first of the following month for your first payment.
It's important to note that if you are presumed to be presumptively disabled, you can start to receive benefits while you wait through your approval time. Conditions that qualify for presumptive disability are serious conditions, such as being deaf, blind, having cerebral palsy or Down syndrome.
Social Security Disability Insurance
Social Security Disability Insurance claims, or SSDI, are for individuals who have paid into the program by way of their payroll taxes. There is a five-month waiting period for processing claims, and you are not eligible for back-pay during the five month period. However, any waiting after the five months is over would include back payments, if you're approved for benefits.
There is another type of back payments that are available for SSDI applicants, called retroactive benefits. These benefits are paid for the months between you first became disabled, and the date you actually applied for benefits.
It is possible for you to collect both Social Security Income, and Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. No matter what type of benefits you are applying for, it's best to consult with a social security law firm like Ransom, Gilbertson, Martin & Ratliff, L.L.P before you apply. Your lawyer can go over all of the particulars of applying for and receiving social security benefits, and give you more information regarding the type of proof you will need throughout the application process.