woman choosing her onset dateWhenever anyone applies for Social Security Disability, they are asked what the onset date of their disability was. This question can be quite confusing and many are not sure how they should answer, which is hardly surprising considering impairments often don’t all begin at once.

Why Is This Date Important?

This date is the one on which you claim your inability to do work began. This date is important because it helps determine how much you will be able to obtain in benefits or back pay. It can also help determine whether or not your application for Social Security Disability benefits will be approved or denied since one of the requirements is that you must be disabled for at least 12 months to qualify for an approval.

Can The SSA Disagree?

Yes. There are two forms of an onset date, the Alleged Onset Date and the Established Onset Date. If the SSA reviews medical records and determines that the date you claimed is not correct, they do have the authority to establish a later date.

What Should I Do If The SSA Changed My Date?

If the SSA changes the date you claimed to a later date, you have the option to appeal this decision. This appeal means that a request will be submitted to the Disability Determination Services to reconsider the date which was chosen.

This appeal is risky, however, because when a review of your claim is made, the DDS also has the authority to reverse the decision to award you benefits entirely. It is wise to speak with an attorney before filing any appeals.

Other Rules And Regulations That Could Impact The Onset Date

Citizenship Status: If you are not a citizen and you did not live in the United States immediately prior to filing out the application, Social Security will not pay SSDI benefits to non-citizens outside of the U.S. after the sixth consecutive calendar month.

The Last Day You Worked: If you continue to work even part time this can complicate your application. While the SSA may determine that this was an unsuccessful work attempt, in most cases, benefits for any months where work was done will not be given.calendar showing onset date

Incarceration: Social Security Disability Benefits will not be paid for any month that the recipient is in jail, prison, or state psychiatric facility.

Unemployment Benefits: While it is technically possible to receive unemployment and disability benefits at the same time, this is not often approved.

Can I Change My Onset Date?

If, after you learn more about your options, you would like to change the date on your application, you can request this change by contacting a local Social Security office in writing and requesting that they amend the date.

How Much Can I Get From SSD?

Until an application is approved, there is no way to determine exactly how much any individual may receive in social security disability benefits. Factors that are taken into consideration include your salary before becoming disabled and how much money you paid into the social security system.

The Office of Social Security has provided a Benefits Calculator so anyone who is filing a claim can estimate how much they may be eligible to receive.

Can I Collect SSD AND Workers’ Compensation?

Yes. If you were injured while working, it is possible to collect payments from both social security disability and your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. It may even be possible to pursue legal action against a third party whose negligence resulted in your injury.

If You Still Have Questions…

Consult an experienced disability attorney who can review your case, help you determine the correct date, and who can inform you of the complications that may arise from changing the date.