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How Long Does it Take to Get Disability Back Pay?

Stay calm. Serious nervous aged man leaning on crutches and feeling worried during his first day in a rehabilitation center while calm kind attentive medical worker helping him to get used to it

If you are struck with an injury or illness that prevents you from working, your financial situation can quickly become untenable. As you rack up medical bills and other expenses, you may find yourself without a source of income. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), California State Disability Insurance (SDI), and private disability insurance benefits are meant to kick in for qualifying applicants who find themselves disabled. California’s SDI helps with short-term disability, while SSDI and private insurance can compensate for long-term disability. Thankfully, applicants who qualify for disability benefits will usually be entitled to back pay. One of the questions we most commonly get from clients, however, is: “Well, how long will that take?”

If you are unable to work, you need those benefits and back pay ASAP. Read on to learn about the time frame for collecting disability back pay. If you need help obtaining Social Security Disability benefits, or for assistance responding to a benefits claim denial, call our seasoned Southern California disability lawyers.

SSDI Back Pay

Most long-term disability (LTD) insurance providers require beneficiaries to also apply for SSDI benefits. SSDI benefits obtained will be used to offset (reduce) LTD payments. Applicants who are approved for SSDI are generally approved for back pay.

Back pay covers benefits that have accrued between the date of onset, meaning the date the applicant became disabled, and the date that the applicant was approved for benefits. That means that even if it takes some time to get approved for benefits, the applicant will not lose out on any benefits they would have received had their application miraculously been approved instantaneously. The back pay period excludes the five months immediately following disability onset because SSDI benefits do not kick in until five months after becoming disabled.

In most cases, applicants who qualify for SSDI will receive their back pay within 60 days of when their claim is approved. Some applicants find they receive their benefits much sooner, as soon as just a few days after claim approval. SSDI benefits are paid via direct deposit to the applicant’s bank account. Typically, if the applicant qualifies for back pay, it will be paid as a single lump sum. Back pay can go back as far as a year before the claimant applied.

Of course, those benefits will not be paid until the application is actually approved. Unfortunately, due to backlogs at the Social Security Administration (SSA), it takes on average three to six months for the SSA to make an initial decision on a claim. If there are delays due to missing information, or if the claim is rejected and the claim must be appealed, it can add months or even years to the process. Moreover, if you were receiving private LTD benefits in the meantime, the LTD insurance provider may be entitled to some or all of the back pay to offset their “overpayments.”

Call for Experienced and Effective Help With Your Disability Benefits

If your social security disability insurance claim has been unreasonably denied, fight for the coverage you are owed with the help of the dedicated and thorough Southern California disability attorneys Drake & Drake at 818-914-4055.

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