Questions related to onset dates, application dates and the date of first payment continue to be one of the more confusing elements of Social Security disability. A recent question from a blog reader incorporates all of these issues so I thought it might be helpful to use this question as the basis of a blog post:
I STOPPED WORKING IN 2009 I KNOW THIS WILL BE MY ONSET DATE, MY QUESTION IS MY ONSET DATE OF 2009, HOW WILL THIS AFFECT ME WHEN I APPLY FOR SSI BENEFITS SOON, SINCE I DON’T HAVE AN EARLIER ONSET DATE. WILL SOCIAL SECURITY BACK PAY ME FOR 2009 IF I WIN MY DECISION.
Let’s first discuss the question of what is Robert’s onset date. Generally, most claimants choose as their onset date the date that they last worked, and that is a reasonable choice. However, your onset date should be the date that you became unable to work. If, for example, Robert was laid off in May, 2009, and he suffered a major heart attack in October, 2009, the October date would be more appropriate. In theory, you can choose an onset date prior to your last day of work, but doing so is an uphill battle and judges are reluctant to approve a claimant for disability for a time period when he was working full or close to full time.
Generally I advise my clients to choose the earliest possible onset date when their medical condition prevented full time work. Your disability onset should be a date prior to the date that your SSDI insurance runs out. [Read more...]