Understanding How Back Pay Affects Social Security Legal Help


It can take applicants a long time to be approved for Social Security benefits. The gap in time between the day you became too disabled to work and the date your benefits are approved can take quite a few months. All the while, you are dealing with a serious medical condition that prevents you from working at your job. You may have been advised to seek legal help if you want to get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. At the same time, you might have wondered how you are supposed to pay an attorney to help you. To find out the answer to that question, you need to understand how what the Social Security Administration (SSA) owes you affects your ability to pay for legal help.

Understanding Back Pay

The date you last worked at your most recent job is known as the date of last insurance (DLI). The word insurance is used because your salary is used to pay FICA, part of which goes to Social Security. The SSA understands how difficult it can be on afflicted ex-workers to wait for an approval (or a denial) and that is why they pay workers from the time they become disabled in one lump sum payment when they are approved for benefits. If you had to wait for a year to get benefits, you may be entitled to seven months of back pay equivalent to seven months of disability pay. As you can imagine, your back pay might be several thousands of dollars.

Five Months With No Benefits

You may have noted from the above example that you only were able to gain seven months of benefits after waiting for a year. That is because of the five-month waiting period imposed by the SSA on applicants in regard to back pay. This means you must subtract five months from any time you've waited from your back pay calculation. Even with that deduction, though, you can still use the back pay to pay for your legal representation.

The Need for Legal Representation

Many times, instead of an approval , an applicant is turned down for benefits. That is not the end of the story, however. Now is the time to speak to a social security lawyer about helping you get benefits at the appeal hearing. Social security attorneys know what has to be proven at the hearing and they take on this job by agreeing to be paid only by your back pay when you are approved. You can be approved for the benefits you need but you may need a lawyer to help you get there. Speak to a social security lawyer about what they can do for you today.


21 November 2019

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