How Does the SSA Determine Back Payments?

As we have been reporting this week, there has been a lot of negative press relating to the Social Security Administration (SSA), specifically when it comes to funding and services.

Recently, the Washington Post reported that the agency’s Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program would only be able to pay 81 percent of benefits to beneficiaries by late 2016 unless Congress intervenes, due to funding exhaustion.

Aside from funding concerns, one of the other issues generating public interest is the closure of hundreds of SSA offices and delayed processing times. The Post had an interesting story last year, indicating that federal hiring levels have reached six-year lows, with the government making fewer than 90,000 new hires in 2012.

This comes as the SSA faces issues involving population growth and an increase in the number of eligible citizens for its programs. Sadly, a bipartisan Senate committee report recently showed that the Social Security Administration is closing field offices and reducing services to the public, even as demands for services surge.

The Post reported that while federal hiring has reached all-time lows, most of the jobs being filled are defense and security positions. In fact, the SSA has cut hiring by more than 98 percent since the 2009 fiscal year. In 2009, the SSA hired more than 6,000 workers—in 2013, the agency hired only 94 new workers.

Here is a link to an interesting graphic by the Federal Times, which shows the hiring patterns for federal government agencies since 2009. Note where the SSA stands—maybe this is why there are issues involving delayed services?

Can I Collect Disability Benefits for My Waiting Period?

You should not let a claim delay weigh you down if you are applying for SSDI. Remember, the SSA will pay you based on the date you applied for disability benefits and the date you were approved for benefits.

The SSA uses several criteria when determining back pay, including the onset date at which you were disabled, the application date and the waiting period, which is the period that takes place between when you apply and when you can start collecting payments.

If your application is approved, it is possible that you will receive back payments and possibly retroactive benefits (payments for the period between your onset date and your application date). Contact our attorneys today at (918) 587-0050, so that we may help you through this process.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys

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