Is Social Security Disability Back Pay Paid in a Lump Sum?

The Social Security Administration may take a long time approving your claim for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).  When you are eligible for disability benefits through either of these two programs, you may be entitled to back pay as a result of the delay in having your application processed. The back pay may total hundreds or even thousands of dollars.  This money may be necessary to help you pay off past due balances and get caught up on bills that were hard for you to pay as you waited for benefits to be approved. 

The back pay may be awarded to you in one large lump sum for the total amount due, or it may be awarded to you in installment payments. The method of payment depends upon whether you are approved for SSI or SSDI. An experienced Social Security Disability lawyer can help you to make the determination of whether SSI or SSDI is the best choice for you and will work to try to expedite the processing of your application so you can get paid as quickly as possible. Your lawyer will also help you to understand what to expect when it comes to receiving back pay. 

How Will your Social Security Disability Back Payments be Made?

When you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you are entitled to payments based on your disability onset date. The benefits start to be paid five months after the onset of your qualifying disability.  If your application took longer than this to process and you are owed back payments, you will receive the money that is due to you in one large lump-sum payment. 

If you qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) instead of SSDI, you may receive a lump sum payment or you may receive smaller installment payments. The method by which you receive your payments depends upon whether the back pay owed to you is more than three times the maximum monthly SSI benefits available under federal law. If the back pay exceeds this amount, you are paid partial installment payments. These payments are made at six month intervals and a total of three payments are made. The first and second payment cannot exceed three times the maximum monthly benefit. The remainder of the back pay is paid in the third installment payment, regardless of the amount. 

A disability benefits lawyer will help you to determine which of these two different payment methods applies to you.  Call an attorney as soon as possible for help moving your benefits claim forward.