We have talked a lot about how far back can you get Social Security benefits.
I want to make sure there is no confusion: Social Security does NOT limit you to only 12 months of back benefits.
There is a limit in how far BEFORE your protected filing date (PFD) you can get benefits (12 months in a Social Security Title 2 Disability Insurance claim — SSDI or DIB).
However, this is only part of the total amount of back benefits most people are entitled to.
If Social Security approved your claim as soon as you applied, then you might be limited to 12 months of back benefits (because you won as soon as you filed).
In most cases though, it takes months or years to win your case. Potentially, you are eligible to get benefits for the entire time you are kept waiting AND up to 12 months before you filed for benefits.
Of course, Social Security requires that you prove that you were disabled that entire time.