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SSDI Cases and Retroactive Payments

SSDI Cases and Retroactive Payments
Retroactive payments cover the time you were disabled but did not apply for benefits. This might be because you didn't realize you qualified or because you haven't had a chance to start the application yet.

Payments Made Retroactively in SSI Cases
Supplemental Security Income payments are not made retroactively (SSI). Individuals who are approved for benefits can only get payments back to the date of application, regardless of when the disability started or how long it lasted.

This means that if you are an adult seeking for cerebral palsy benefits, you will only be eligible for benefits commencing on the day you applied, even if the condition was present at birth.

Because many SSI cases can take years to settle, a claimant may be compensated for payments received throughout the approval process. This is known as "back pay."
SSDI Cases and Retroactive Payments
Those who are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) may be paid back payments for up to twelve months prior to the date of application provided it can be demonstrated that they were disabled for the whole period. Even if a person's disability has persisted longer, the SSA will not reimburse them for more than one year prior to their first application date.
Claimants who receive SSI or SSDI payments may be entitled for retroactive reimbursement. Retroactive SSI payments can start the month after the Protective Filing Date (PFD), and retroactive SSDI benefits can start the month after the PFD plus the 5-month waiting period.

Retroactive SSI Benefits
Retroactive SSI payments (including any federally administered State augmentation) are SSI benefits that are paid after the calendar month in which they are due. Benefits provided in February, for example, are retroactive to January.

- Retroactive SSI benefits may be granted in a lump amount or in monthly instalments over a 6-month period to the SSI beneficiary. The amount of Retroactive SSI benefits to which the individual is entitled is generally used to assess this. The SSA will only give SSI claimants three months of payments at a time in their initial Retroactive payment. If the SSI beneficiary is due more, the SSA will usually pay the benefit in two or three six-month instalments, unless the individual can establish a need for the money.
Unspent Retroactive SSI (or SSDI) payments received by an SSI recipient are withheld from the person's resources for nine calendar months after the payment is received. To put it another way, the SSI beneficiary has 9 months to "spend down" his or her Retroactive benefits before they affect ongoing SSI eligibility.

Retroactive SSDI Benefits
SSDI benefits are deemed retroactive if they are issued more than a month after the calendar month for which they are due. SSDI benefits granted in February, for example, are not retroactive, although SSDI benefits issued in March are.

- Retroactive SSDI benefits are normally paid to an SSDI claimant in one lump sum. If the SSDI recipient is just receiving SSDI benefits (rather than SSI), the Retroactive payment does not have to be "spent down" since SSDI benefits have no resource constraints; hence, Retroactive payments have no influence on continuing SSDI eligibility.

Benefits of "Spending Less" in the Past

SSI beneficiaries or their agent payees should spend down Retroactive SSI to maintain current SSI eligibility (or payments on exempt resources).
Exempt resources are those that are not considered by the Social Security Administration for determining SSI eligibility.
- Home expenditures include the purchase of a home, the repayment of a mortgage on an existing home, the adaption of a home to accommodate a disabled individual, home repairs/remodeling, and the purchase of home furnishings or equipment.
- Medical expenses/bills not covered by Medicaid or Medicare (such as the purchase of higher-quality assistive equipment not covered by Medicaid/Medicare), dental expenses, eyeglasses, and physical therapy
- Personal expenses include education costs, entertainment/recreation costs, vacation travel, debt repayment, prepayment of burial arrangements, personal hygiene goods, acquiring a car, paying for registration and insurance, and apparel purchases.

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Sunday, 05 February 2023