Social Security Disability: The Importance of the Onset Date

When applying for Social Security Disability benefits, one of the questions that will be asked is what is your alleged Onset Date of Disability. Some people do not know how to answer this question. The Onset Date is the date that you claim that your disability became so severe that you were no longer able to work. Your disability Onset Date will determine how much in past due benefits, also called back pay, that you will receive if your claim is approved. Therefore, it is very important to allege the appropriate Onset Date in your application.

Under the Social Security rules, you are entitled to receive backpay as far back as 12 months from the date you applied for benefits. However, there is a 5 month waiting period after you become disabled before you will start receiving Social Security benefits. Therefore, in order to receive the entire 12 months in back pay, you would have to become disabled at least 17 months before you applied for disability benefits. This is one reason that knowing the Onset Date is very important to your claim.

Also, the Onset Date is important to determine if your disability has last or is expected to last at least 12 months. In order to qualify for benefits, your condition must have lasted or be expected to last for 12 months. The Onset Date is when the clock starts counting for that 12-month requirement. So it is important to know your Onset Date in order to know if your condition has lasted or is expected to last over a year.