Nearly everyone knows about the monthly Social Security checks you can get if you qualify, but there is also the potential to get a lump sum payment if you are owed back pay. The back pay is meant to cover the lag in time between the date your medical condition began preventing you from working and the date that you finally begin getting monthly payments. To learn more about this lump sum benefit, read on.

What to Know About Back Pay

The day that the Social Security Administration (SSA) decides that you became disabled is based on the information you provide in your application and the information the SSA gets from your employer and doctors. This date is known, in SSA terms, as the Established Onset Date (EOD) and can go back as much as 12 months for those filing for Social Security disability. The amount of the back pay is based on your earnings at your last job. There is a 5-month waiting period added on the the EOD, and during this period you are not eligible for back pay or for monthly benefits.

What to Know About the EOD

When you complete your initial application for disability benefits, you will be asked to state the exact date that you first became disabled. This date is known as the Alleged Onset Date (AOD), and the SSA must investigate and approve your AOD for it to become the EOD (Established Onset Date). Frequently, there are discrepancies between the two dates, with the SSA perhaps choosing a later date for your onset and thereby causing your potential back pay to be decreased. There are numerous reasons for the disagreement on dates of onset, such as:

1. You failed to show proof that your disability began on that date. This may happen if you failed to seek or did not continue to seek medical treatment for the medical condition that you are alleging prevents you from doing your job.

2. You failed to provide medical evidence of your disability. Your medical records are the only way the SSA has of verifying your claim to benefits.

3. You were still working at your job at the time of your AOD. If you were able to do work, you cannot qualify for benefits.

Appealing Your EOD

If you disagree with the EOD, you have the right to file an appeal and have it reconsidered. Be prepared to show proof that your disability began no later than that date. Be sure to speak to a Social Security attorney for more help and support for your appeal.