If you become disabled, you might qualify for Social Security disability. There are two different programs for New Jersey residents, and they are Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance. In both cases, if you are approved, you may qualify for back pay, but how each program determines that amount varies.
SSI and back pay
For SSI, if you are eventually approved for disability benefits, your back pay will reach back to the date you initially file. For these purposes, your date is whenever you first contact the Social Security Administration. The reason for this is that it may take weeks to get an appointment to file. After that, you must make your initial claim. There are a few situations that will allow your application to be fast-tracked, such as if you have a terminal illness, but in most cases, it will take a few months on average to get a decision. This decision is often a denial, and you may have to appeal more than once in order to get the payments that you are owed. This could result in some people getting several years of disability pay when they are finally successful.
SSDI and back pay
Unlike SSI, SSDI has a five-month waiting period. Therefore, the first five months of your eligibility period do not count in calculating your back pay. However, aside from this, if you are applying for SSDI, you may also have long wait periods and multiple appeals before you are granted disability pay.
Disability payments can be crucial for people who are unable to work, but the process of applying for SSD can be confusing and stressful. Many people are unaware that it is not uncommon to receive a rejection and might not pursue the appeals process even though they are entitled to do this. It may be helpful to work with an attorney to ensure that paperwork is prepared correctly and that the claim is pursued through the appeals process.