Back Pay Limits

There are some limitations for how many months you will be able to collect back pay.

Todd, in San Ysidro, California asks “How far back will Social Security pay me if I am approved for disability?”

Getting approved for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income can be a long process. Fortunately, once you are approved, the Social Security Administration will pay you for the past months that you were eligible for disability benefits; however, there are some limitations for how many months you will be able to collect back pay.

For Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you can collect back pay for past months starting 5 months after the onset of your disability; however, there is a cap of 12 months prior to your initial application for disability. So, if you became disabled 2 years before you applied for disability, then you will only get back pay starting with 12 months prior to the date you filed for disability.

For Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits, you can collect back pay starting with the month that you filed your initial application for disability.

There are some special cases that would affect back pay. You will want to discuss your specific situation with a qualified disability attorney. Click here to schedule a free consultation with a disability attorney in the San Diego and Los Angeles areas, serving all of southern California.