How Far Back Does Disability Pay in Pennsylvania?
Applying for Social Security disability benefits in Pennsylvania is a lengthy and challenging process. According to its own website, the Social Security Administration (SSA) indicates that it could take anywhere between three to five months to approve an initial application. The reality is that it could take much longer. The initial process takes time and the majority of new applications are denied. This means that applicants are looking at a long appeals process that could take a year or longer.
Fortunately, the SSA offers back payments to account for these lengthy delays. Back pay in Pennsylvania covers the disability payments you would have been eligible for before your application was approved. Additionally, you might be eligible for Social Security benefits payments up to 12 months before your application date.
However, there are parts of the process that impact your potential back pay, including waiting periods and the established onset date (EOD) of your medical condition. To help maximize your back pay benefits, you should consult with one of our experienced Philadelphia Social Security disability lawyers. Call Young, Marr & Associates at (215) 515-2954 to review the necessary steps to receive the benefits you deserve.
Qualifying for Disability Under the Social Security Administration
The SSA strictly defines disability. To qualify for disability benefits, you must have a medically verifiable impairment that prevents you from working at your current job or finding new employment. Additionally, your medical condition must last at least twelve months or end in your death.
If you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you will have to have earned enough work credits by paying FICA taxes. For those applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you will need to prove your income and assets fall below a specific threshold. These requirements are in addition to establishing you have a qualifying medical condition. Having our Pennsylvania Social Security disability benefits lawyers work with you during the entire process will increase your chances of approval.
When to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits in Pennsylvania
If you are applying for SSDI, your disability must have lasted for at least five months. During these five months, you are not entitled to disability benefits. On the other hand, if you are applying for SSI, there is no waiting period.
When your application is submitted, the SSA will review the medical documentation to determine the EOD. This is the date your disability officially began. An examiner from the Disability Determination Services (DDS) office bases this date on the medical evidence provided along with your work history. It is crucial to have one of Pennsylvania disability attorneys working with you when you gather your medical documentation.
Disability Back Pay in Pennsylvania
If the SSA approves your application, you could be offered up to twelve months of back payments. This period fills the gap between the established onset date and the date of your approval. Remember, if you are applying for SSDI, there is a five-month waiting period. Therefore, if your medical condition began twelve months before the SSA’s approval, the maximum amount of back pay you could receive is seven months.
If you applied for and were approved for SSI, you qualify for disability payments from the first month after your EOD. Therefore, once you are approved, the SSA will issue back pay from the date of approval to your EOD. Most applicants should see this payment within sixty days of approval.
All back pay is paid through three installments, paid every six months. The first two installments are the same amount as your regular monthly disability benefits. The third and final installment will include the remainder of your back pay.
Taxes and Social Security Disability Back Pay
Some disability payments are taxable. If you are receiving SSI, you do not have to worry; SSI is not considered taxable income. However, SSDI benefits are considered taxable income and must be reported on both your federal and state tax returns. In most cases, especially if your benefits are the total of your income, you do not have to worry about paying any taxes. However, if you have other income, such as a spouse’s income, up to 50% of your disability benefits could be taxable.
Taxable income is important when discussing back payments. If you receive a large retroactive disability payment, it could impact your income for the taxable year in which you received it. Fortunately, you could amend your previous tax returns and spread out the back pay across the years it would have been paid. Our knowledgeable Pennsylvania disability lawyers are available to answer any questions you have regarding your benefits.
Documentation to Maximize Disability Back Pay in Pennsylvania
If you want to increase your chances of receiving back pay, it is crucial to seek medical treatment and document your impairment as soon as possible. Be sure to follow your doctor’s treatment and thoroughly document the progression of your medical condition. You will have to demonstrate evidence of its permanence. Comprehensive and compelling medical records will give the SSA the information to determine exactly when your disability began.
Medical documentation is not only important in helping establish when your impairment began, it is vital to prove your condition meets the SSA’s qualifying requirements. One of the primary reasons claims are denied is a lack of sufficient medical evidence. To increase your chances of approval and back pay, speak with one of our Montgomery County disability lawyers.
Our Pennsylvania Disability Lawyers Could Help You With Your Disability Approval and Back Pay
Filing for Social Security benefits is a frustrating process littered with many hurdles. For most applicants, the process ends in a denial letter – not an approval or back pay. Our experienced Berks County disability lawyers have been assisting people with their benefits claims for decades. They are available to help you maximize your back pay. Call (215) 515-2954 to speak with an attorney from Young, Marr & Associates.