Many people ask me about whether their children will qualify for Social Security benefits based on medical conditions early in their lives:
We have two adopted children that we have had since birth. One is now 14, but was born at 26 weeks weighing 1lb 14 ou. The other is now 12 but was born at 32 weeks at 3lbs 5oz.
Are they eligible for Social Security benefits now?
Continue reading Children’s Social Security Disability Cases and Early Impairments
Disabled children can apply for Social Security benefits under the Title 16 children’s Supplemental Security Income (child SSI) program. Children’s cases are considered differently than adult disability claims. However, after a child turns 18, Social Security applies the adult standard to decide disability. Note: children between 18 and 22 may be eligible for Disabled Adult Child benefits based on their parents’ contribution to Social Security.
What happens if a child turns 18 before Social Security decides if the child is disabled?
Continue reading Child SSI cases after 18th birthday
To quote an old lottery slogan, “you can’t win, if you don’t play.” It may seem obvious, but you cannot receive Social Security disability benefits if you do not apply.
If fact, many Social Security regulations about Social Security eligibility start with this simple requirement: Continue reading FIRST step to Social Security disability
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. Continue reading Are you limited to only 12 months of back Social Security benefits?
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.
If you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI or DIB), you may be surprised that Social Security keeps the first 5 months of back benefits.
This is referred to as the “5 month waiting period.”
If you awarded benefits back to January 1st, Social Security actually keeps the benefits for January, February, March… all the way through May. Your disability insurance benefits will start in June.
What?!?! But, it is my money!
I know! But, that is how the system works!
However, there is an exception to the 5 month waiting period. Continue reading Social Security 5 Month Waiting Period Explained
The Protected Filing Date (PFD) is the date you contacted Social Security and asked to file an application.
What is so special about that?
The PFD is used to determine how far back your benefits can be paid.
What makes it “protected?”
Since the application process takes time, Social Security does not want to penalize you for delay between the time you ask to start an application and the time you actually finish it.
For example: if you contact Social Security on January 2nd to start an application (Social Security is closed on new year’s day), but do not turn in all the paperwork until February 1st, Social Security will use January 2nd as your protected filing date, even though you did not actually turn in your application until February.
This could mean an extra month of benefits for you.
Nate Craig of Truth of the Matter Asserted has a great article about what it means if a judge wants you to change the date you became disabled, or in Social Security parlance “amend your alleged onset date (AOD).”
Often, by the time the claimant’s hearing comes to be scheduled, the ALJ will review the file for the first time. During this review, the ALJ will determine if the onset date is established by the medical records. Most factors of a proposal to amend an onset date will be either a specific medical finding that seems to correlate with the claimant’s limitations or the claimant has earning posted to their earnings record, including unemployment benefits.
Long story short, if the Judge is asking you to amend the onset date, they essentially are going to award benefits.
Nate makes a great point, but there is one exception to this general rule of thumb: SSI cases. Continue reading What if the Social Security judge wants me to change the date my disability began?