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Social Security Disability Benefits - After You've Won Your Claim

If you are approved for Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) you may be entitled to receive: back benefits from the date you became disabled (alleged onset date or AOD); continued monthly payments; and health insurance. 

Retro Benefits (Back Benefits)

Both DIB and SSI pay retro benefits to the disabled individual. The amount of back benefits depends on two factors: the amount of your monthly benefits; and the past number of unpaid months leading up to the present date of your first monthly payment. In determining the amount of retro benefits we start with the onset date for disability (the date SSA finds you disabled). 

DIB Retro Benefits

The onset date is important for determining the amount of retro benefits. Once the onset date is set, the SSA deducts the first 5 months of eligibility and then pays the claimant for the past due months up to the current date. Note that the initial application date is important because generally you receive retro benefits starting from 12 months prior to the current application date.  

SSI Retro Benefits

The initial application date of the current claim is generally the earliest date your back benefits will start. As a result, generally the onset date for SSI claims is set as the date of the current application date. Therefore, even if you are disabled before the date that you file the application-you will only receive benefits from the month after your current application's initial filing date.