Amending the Onset Date

Does your lawyer know when he should Amend the Onset Date for your disability claim?

Disability OnSetDate

Filing for Social Security disability is complicated. The Application asks a lot of specific questions regarding your background, work history, medical history, and prescription medications. So it’s important to have a lawyer who knows the rules and guidelines and can expertly navigate you through this complicated legal process. One way a lawyer can greatly increase your chances for Social Security benefits is through amending the Onset Date for your disability claim. The onset date is crucial to a Social Security claim. If you set the onset date to early, you will lose your claim, even if you became disabled at a later date. So this is an issue you have to get right.

Often times, clients come to us after they have filed the application at the Social Security office and been denied. What we have learned is that many people apply by being interviewed in person by a Social Security employee. The Social Security employee fills out the application based on what the applicant says to them in person. The applicant then signs the form when they are done and the application is filed. In many cases the applicant never even sees the entire completed form! This can lead to errors being made that need to be corrected.

One of the most common errors we see is that applicants do not know the correct date to put as the onset date of their disability. Often times, this date is the date that they stopped working, but that is not always the case. In some cases, a person may stop working at a specific job because it became too hard for them, but may still be able to do other lighter jobs, so they would not be eligible for disability benefits at that time. There are numerous situations where the onset date is not simply the date the applicant stopped working.

When we get a disability case, we review the application and determine whether it is appropriate to amend your onset date. Sometimes, what we will see is that the onset date needs to be amended because it is simply inaccurate. In other cases, we amend the onset date to increase our client’s chances of getting disability. For example, under the Social Security GRID rules, an applicant has a better chance of getting approved for disability when they turn 50 than when they are 49. Therefore, it is often advantageous to amend the onset date to an applicant’s 50th birthday to increase their chances at disability.

Setting the right onset date is a tactical decision that has to be made by both the applicant and the lawyer. The important thing is to have a lawyer that knows the complex details of the Social Security rules that can properly advise you on what onset date gives you your best chance of getting approved for disability benefits.