If you are disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits? Back to when the disability began?
It depends on whether you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI or DIB), or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Social Security Supplemental Security Income (SSI) pays benefits back to the “Protected Filing Date (PFD),” the date you contacted Social Security and asked to apply for benefits.
Social Security Disability Insurance, on the other hand, pays benefits up to 12 months before the Protected Filing Date. However, you should also keep in mind the “5 month waiting period.”
Note: these are maximum back benefit payments. Social Security has to find you disabled back to the PFD (for SSI) or 12 months before the PFD (for SSDI) to get those back benefits.